"Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it." Luke 9:23-24
One of my favorite books is The Barbarian Way by Erwin McManus. One of the quotes that really captured my attention and caused me to really think about my faith was this: "Jesus is being lost in a religion bearing His name. People are being lost because they cannot reconcile Jesus' association with Christianity. Christianity has become docile, domesticated, civilized." Wow! I have to say that I agree with McManus. What I have seen over the years that I have been a Christian is the church getting comfortable in the communities she has been placed. We have watered-down Christianity, whether intentionally or unintentionally. We must be careful not to cater to our own needs in the church rather than the needs of those in our communities. We must be careful not to serve comfortably from the cushioned pews in our buildings rather than serving in the highways and in the hedges of our communities. We must be careful not to stockpile the financial resources that God has given us under the pretense that we want to be sure we have enough to pay the bills. If we are going to call ourselves Christians...Christ followers...the church...then we need to be sure we actually follow Jesus' example. We need to follow His lead. He trusted in God's provisions for His life. He trusted in God's plans for His life. He trusted in God. Jesus knew that He would face opposition. He knew that He would walk into dark places. He knew that His walk would be difficult, sometimes dangerous and sometimes painful. We, too, need to know that we will face opposition, that we will walk into dark places, and that our walk will be difficult. We need to trust God. Jesus told His disciples, "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me." There is nothing easy, nothing docile, nothing domesticated, noting civilized about taking up a cross daily. Let's not be a people who water-down Christianity. Let's be a people who pick up the cross daily and be the truth and the light that God has called us to be!