“Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.’” (Mt. 16:24)
Are you all in? Do you live with urgency, conviction, and purpose? Or do you dabble, hedge your bets, and play it safe?
One of the most striking characteristics of Jesus is that He was totally and completely committed. If He wasn’t all-in, He wouldn’t have given His all for us.
Every important endeavor and enterprise takes being all-in. If we hold back, things don’t move forward. If we withhold, others won’t join. If we stay on the sidelines, the game doesn’t get played. If we’re not committed, we won’t get much done.
Some people think it’s “cool” to not be passionate or involved. They look for reasons why not to step up rather than looking for reasons why they could make a difference.
Even though this reluctance to step in and step up may be a safer way to live, is it the safest way anyway to live? It’s possible to be really cool and never to have really lived. Come to think about it, perhaps withholding ourselves and staying on the sidelines may not be so cool after all.
When Jesus says, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me,” He’s saying that His disciples must be all-in for and with Him. Are we willing to stake our lives—both this life and the next one—on Him? If not, we aren’t all in.
The only way Jesus could be our Savior was that He was all-in for us. If we’re going to honor what Jesus has done for us, I encourage us to be all-in for the one who gave His all for us.
- Are you “all-in” with and for Jesus? If so, how did that happen? If not, what needs to change?
- Are you more inclined to jump into things or to simply watch life go by? How might today’s scripture speak to or even influence how you usually respond to the situations and circumstances of your life?
- What does it mean for you to deny yourself and take up your cross and follow Jesus?