Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Following Jesus – Step By Step

Luke 9:23

Then he said to them all: Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.

I remember one winter – long ago – when my father went out into the deep snow to get wood for our fireplace. It was a cold day and the snow was deep. I do not remember how old I was at the time of this memory – but I bundled up and tried to follow my dad. As I followed in his footsteps – step by step – my stride wasn’t long enough (remember the snow was deep so it wasn’t simply matching his stride but picking up my feet to the height of the snow as well). A few steps into following him – I fell over. I got up and kept trying to follow him. I made it to the woodpile and worked my way back – falling a few times more as I carried wood back to the house for our fireplace.

Following dad wasn’t easy. He made things look easy – but they were not. When we worked together – dad would always take the harder task. But he made the harder task look easier so I often asked to switch places with him – only to find out that what he was doing was harder than what I was doing. One such time was when he was using a hoe to make rows in the garden. My task was to keep up with him and plant the seeds. I couldn’t keep up with him and thought hoeing was easier – so we switched. It wasn’t easier – I learned another lesson the hard way.

Following Jesus is not easy either. We are called to follow Him – to follow the example He set for us. Today’s passage calls us to deny self and follow Him. Here’s today’s passage in partial context. It is a passage where Jesus predicts His death and the call to deny self and follow Him. Luke 9:21–27 – 21 Jesus strictly warned them not to tell this to anyone. 22 And he said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.” 23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? 26 Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. 27 “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.”

Like following my dad in the snow – following Jesus is not easy either. We will fall and fail – time and again – but like I got up and kept trying to follow dad – we need to do the same as we follow Jesus. Step by step – we need to follow Jesus. Even when we fail – we can get up and try again!

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

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July 3, 2017 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , ,

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