As we go throughout life, we are presented with many special offers.
Car dealerships, health clubs, credit cards, and VIP opportunities are advertised to entice us, to draw us in. Many times, we pursue these offers only to discover that there are prerequisites.
Often, the prerequisites mean there are exclusions that disqualify some, and separate us from one another.
The good news is that Jesus gives us a different kind of offer. Jesus gives us an invitation that has no prerequisites, and is open to anyone. And anyone means, everyone.
In Luke 9:23-24, Jesus says “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross daily, and follow me. If you give up your life for me, you will find true life.”
Given that we are accustomed to a worldly life where there are exclusions that place each of us at our respective level of the totem pole, it can be very easy to hear Jesus’ words here and think,
“This doesn’t apply to me. You don’t know my past. There is NO WAY I’m good enough.”
If these doubts creep into your mind, consider the people that Jesus HAND-SELECTED to be His disciples. They weren’t the business leaders, figureheads, or the model citizens of society. They were the lowest of the low. They were tax collectors and fishermen, people that society loathed! And yet, Jesus specifically chose them.
Jesus paints a very clear picture of his love for EVERY ONE of us in Matthew 18:12-14. In this parable, Jesus tells us that he will leave the ninety-nine others of his flock, to save the ONE that wanders away. Further, He will rejoice over finding the ONE that wandered, even more than the ninety-nine that didn’t.
So what does this mean for us?
1) Jesus loves you where you are, right now.
No matter what you’ve done, you are enough. Jesus loves and LONGS to know you.
2) His call to follow Him will not leave you where you are.
Jesus asks us to take up our cross and follow him, daily. This means leaving the bad stuff behind, and being made new in Him. And remember, this happens EVERY SINGLE DAY, because sin and temptation never lets up.
3) If you follow Him your life will be CHANGED.
Following Jesus means victory over this earthly, broken life, and eternity in His kingdom!
No matter where you are at with jesus today, let’s continue to pray this prayer:
“Heavenly Father, I love you, and acknowledge that you are mighty, and greater than anything else in this world. Help me to be aware of your unrelenting love for me. Be present in my life, and give me the courage to take up my cross and follow you, every day, so that my life will be CHANGED.”
-Contributed by Tom L.