Jun 29, 2022
Do you find yourself in a position of wondering about the cost of
following Jesus? Hi, I'm Mike Henry Sr. with Follower of One.
Thanks for joining me again today on the Follower of One podcast.
We've been talking for a couple of episodes about following Jesus
and where the places in scripture where He said follow me. Today I
wanna read Matthew 16:24, "Then Jesus said to his disciples, if
anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up
his cross and follow me." We actually talked about this passage,
this similar phrase, this statement of Jesus from Luke back in
Episode 104. If you want to check out that episode, it was several
years ago now.
But look at this passage, "Jesus said to his disciples, if anyone
wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross
and follow me." There are three conditions here: denying ourselves,
taking up our cross, and following Jesus. In the verse in Luke, it
actually says "take up your cross daily."
Following Jesus has a price. Jesus makes this statement in Matthew
16, right after He told Peter to get behind Him, satan, you are a
stumbling block to me. He's explaining to the disciples that He's
going to die. He's explaining to them the cost of doing what God
wants. Hanging onto our lives and our desires and the things that
we think put us at odds with God. God's model is exactly opposite
ours. Our natural faith, our natural beliefs, our natural way of
living is all 180 degrees at odds with God. Over time, we can train
ourselves a little bit to think like God and to do what He would
have us do.
But it's so different, and it's so foreign that Jesus makes this
point: we must deny ourselves, we must take up our cross, and then
we follow Him. I want to listen to Jesus and obey Him and do what
He says. Oftentimes that calls me to a place where I'm not
comfortable. And I don't understand what's going to happen next.
All my little plans and all my ideas of the way things are going to
work just don't fit.
Jesus has a different strategy for us and it all exists on the
other side of us following Him. That's the idea. We follow Jesus.
We don't get to make this up for ourselves. Our guesses, and our
tendencies, and our beliefs don't naturally bring us to the place
where we're following Jesus, where we're part of His strategy, and
we're part of His plan. Our natural lives and our natural
personalities take us totally out of the realm of where He gets to
control and He's being glorified and where His plan is being
executed. And that's why we have to remind ourselves regularly to
Today, I want to challenge us as Marketplace Christians. If we wish
to come after Him, we must deny ourselves, take up our cross, and
follow Him. The command to take up our cross, that's a command to
die. Denying ourselves means we stop focusing on what we want and
instead try and focus on what Jesus wants. This three-step plan:
deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him means that we
turn from our own desire, we realize that our own desires aren't
ever coming back, and then we follow Him.
Following Jesus is very expensive and yet it's the most rewarding
thing that we can ever do. I hope that you follow Jesus. I'm
grateful that you listen to this podcast and you are a Marketplace
Minister. I'm grateful that you serve other people on a daily basis
so that Jesus might become visible. That's the definition of a
Marketplace Minister. Often we use the term that we're just helping
other people move one notch closer to Jesus. And if you're doing
that today, you're a Marketplace Minister. Thanks for joining us.
You might even check out a group of us who are trying to do this on
a daily basis. We connect through our online community
Thanks very much.