Luke 9: 18-25

For me, this is possibly the most challenging piece of scripture in the New Testament. Jesus asks the disciples, who have seen Him perform incredible miracles and tell fascinating stories, who do they believe He is. First they offer other people's opinions as their answers, before Peter speaks out and says he believes that Jesus is 'the Christ of God'. Jesus' reply must have stunned His followers and friends when He talked of what would come of Him. However, He then, in verse 23, gives an amazing challenge to the disciples - to deny themselves, taking up their crosses daily, and follow Him.

As professional golfer Ray Floyd was getting ready to tap in a routine 9-inch putt, he saw the ball move ever so slightly. According to the rule book, if the ball moves in this way the golfer must take a penalty stroke. Yet consider the situation. Floyd was among the leaders in a tournament offering a top prize of $108,000. To acknowledge that the ball had moved could mean he would lose his chance for big money. Many would look around to see who was watching, before deciding what to do next. Some would throw a tantrum and complain about the rules of the game. Ray Floyd? Ray Floyd assessed himself a penalty stroke and wound up with a bogey on the hole.

Ray Floyd showed a simple must within the Christian faith. Integrity. For the disciples to follow Jesus the way He wanted them to, they had to deny themselves as worthless without Him and live the way He wanted them to daily. The key to verse 23 in Chapter 9 of Luke's gospel is the word 'daily'. To live the life Jesus wants us to, He asks that we talk with Him, we worship Him, we have faith in Him, we follow Him - everyday. That's living with integrity.

When Jesus was hung on that cross for you and me, not once did He even utter the words "Please take me down, I'm not really the Son of God". He went through all that excrutiating pain because He loves us and would simply do anything for us to get closer to Him and the Kingdom of Heaven.

Don't commit yourself to God, just to deny Him the very next day. God doesn't want one day of your week, He wants the whole lot! After all, doesn't He deserve it? I think so. CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.