The Weekly Word - A Devotion for the Week of October 23
We must die to ourselves to live eternally.
In this verse, Jesus tells us to leave our old ways of living and start a new life with Him. He asks us to trust that His way is the only way to eternal life with Him in heaven. Note carefully what Jesus says at the beginning of the verse: “If anyone would come after me.” This is an invitation to anyone and everyone who desires to follow Jesus. He isn’t just asking the young or the old or someone who’s been in the church for ages; this is directed to all. This verse can be seen as an introduction to what it means to be a believer.
In the second half of the verse, He says, “let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Again: Jesus says we are to take up His cross daily. This is a reminder that becoming a Christian is not simply a decision that you make and then you’re done. Following Jesus is a continual journey of growing, learning, and dying to self.
Being a follower of Jesus isn’t always a walk in the park. It means leaving your old ways behind and starting a new life with Him. Does this mean we will stop sinning entirely? Definitely not. Our God is full of grace, compassion, and forgiveness. As Christians, we must die to self, take up our cross, and confess our sins to God. We believe and trust what Jesus did on the cross for us and share that truth with those around us.
We can be thankful every day for all that God did and is doing for us—and live by faith in Him.