"Then He said to them all, 'If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me.'"
This November, thousands of college wrestlers throughout the country begin a four-month journey that will culminate with the 2005 NCAA Championships in St. Louis. Come March, more than 300 will make the trip to wrestle at the NCAA finals, and only 10 will go home with a gold medal. What does it take to be one of the 10? It starts with a denial of selfish wants, a willingness to endure hardships and a relentless, total commitment to the cause.
What does it take to be a follower of Jesus Christ? Jesus mentioned three things a person must do. First, he must "deny himself." Our life's focus should be on Him, not us. Second, he must "take up his cross daily." We must be willing to face trials, hardships and even death as we openly identify ourselves with Jesus, and what He went through for us. Third, Jesus said that a person must follow Him. That sounds pretty elementary, doesn't it? But He is not talking about following Him half-heartedly and only when it is convenient for us. He is talking about a relentless, total, life-long commitment to Him, even when things are tough, or we don't feel like it.
Today, may we be committed warriors for Christ in competition and in life.
1. How is your commitment to your sport lived out daily?
2. What causes your commitment to Jesus Christ to waver?
3. What is one thing you can do to strengthen your commitment to Jesus?
Luke 9:23-26, 62