Reading for March 14th – Luke 9

Rev. Dr. Don Frazure

Luke 9:23-24 “Then he said to the crowd, ‘If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.’”
I have been a believer and follower of Jesus Christ since I was 12 years old. Believing in Jesus as my Lord and Savior, that he died for me, and that God raised him from the dead is as easy for me as breathing. The hard part is exactly what Jesus says in these verses. Dying to self is hard. It is not a once and forever sort of deal. I still struggle with taking up my cross daily and giving over my own self in every way to Christ. I am a new creation, and I know that through Christ I can do all things, but I also know that Christ asks all of me. 
The gift of salvation is free. It cost me nothing. Jesus paid it all on my account. But to follow Christ as his disciple, that will cost me everything. People may think that I’m doing a good job at this – WRONG! I often delude myself into thinking that I doing better at dying to self that I really am. It is my daily struggle to bear my cross and crucify the self in me that is tempted each and every day to do his own thing. Some days I succeed. Some days...not even close. 
Even so, Christ tells me in the verses above that this is the cost of discipleship. Salvation is free, but following Christ is not a sign up, get a membership card and that’s all there is to it deal. Being a disciple of Christ is not easy, but then again, nothing of true worth ever is. He gave his all, so I must give my all to him and for him.
O Come To The Altar
Are you hurting and broken within
Overwhelmed by the weight of your sin, Jesus is calling
Have you come to the end of yourself
Do you thirst for a drink from the well, Jesus is calling
O come to the altar, the Father’s arms are open wide
Forgiveness was bought with the precious blood of Jesus Christ
Leave behind your regrets and mistakes
Come today, there’s no reason to wait, Jesus is calling
Bring your sorrows and trade them for joy
From the ashes a new life is born, Jesus is calling
Oh what a Savior, isn’t he wonderful
Sing hallelujah, Christ is risen
Bow down before Him, for He is Lord of all
Sing hallelujah, Christ is risen
Bear your cross as you wait for the crown
Tell the world of the treasure you’ve found
2015 Music by Elevation Worship Publishing (Admin. by Essential Music Publishing LLC)

Who do you say I am?
This is the question that Jesus presents to Peter in Luke 9:20, but it is also a question we need to ask ourselves. What do you believe about Jesus? Do you believe that he performed the miracles in the Bible? Do you believe that he was born from a virgin or that he was raised from the dead? Do you believe that Jesus can forgive your sins and that He is our savior? Who do you say that Jesus is?

*Adapted from the Life Application Bible Commentary of Luke