Hey Clemson FCA! I hope everyone is having an amazing Monday! Last Thursday was a spectacular night at Clemson FCA. We had the privilege of hearing from Dan Lian from NewSpring Church.
Dan referenced Mark 8 and preached on what following Jesus really looks like. What does it look like to follow Jesus when your college years are over?
“Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?”
If you really want to follow Jesus, stop and really think about it, then pick up your cross and follow Him. It is ALL or NOTHING.
Mark 8: 34-38 is very upfront with what we have to do to follow him. He didn’t tone His message down because of a number of reasons:
1. Jesus Loves us – if you love someone, you give them nothing but the truth. Love doesn’t manipulate, love doesn’t pretend to be something that it is not, love is upfront. Because Jesus is love he couldn’t help but tell us everything about what this journey is going to look like.
2. Jesus is truth – when Jesus tells the truth he isn’t making a choice, he is being who he is. He can’t help but tell the truth because he is the truth.
3. Jesus is smart – he understood what would happen if he tricked you into starting to follow him, knowing that you would walk away from him later down the road. Jesus is equally interested in our start on this journey as he is our end in this journey.
Jesus was trying to make it clear on what it would look like to follow him. If you want to follow Jesus you have to deny yourself, make him number 1, and pick up your cross and follow him. But, 2000 years ago when Jesus preached this message, everyone understood what it meant to pick up your cross and follow him. But what does this look like today?
1. Following Jesus is uncomfortable – following Jesus means carrying a cross and carrying a cross is uncomfortable. If you really want to follow Jesus, he will bring you great comfort and great discomfort.
2. Following Jesus will be inconvenient – when you pick up a cross, all of your movement is affected. It will mess with your future plans, resources, it will mess with everything.
3. Following Jesus will be noticeable – everyone is going to notice it. If you want to follow Jesus and live a quiet life, you are following the wrong person. Following him will become incredibly noticeable, everyone will notice.
4. Following Jesus isn’t going to be cool – the cross wasn’t a fashion statement. You will face persecution at some point.
5. Following Jesus is forever – when you pick up your cross and follow him, it is forever.
It is okay to get annoyed with the Lord, but it is not okay to be surprised with him.
He shared this with us because he loves you, he is truthful, and he wants you to stick with him. Following Jesus won’t be easy, but it will be the most joyous and rewarding thing in your life.
Will you pick up your cross and follow Jesus?