“Then he said to them all: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.'” — Luke 9:23
It’s not easy to have a long career as a professional athlete. Sometimes, concussions and debilitating knee injuries make it almost impossible for someone to continue performing at the peak level expected for top-tier athletes. Sometimes, difficult personalities in the locker room make it tough to focus and keep coming to work every day.
In the modern world, we also have many distractions that make it easy to waste time rather than do weight training and aerobic activities. Therefore, it is inspiring to see an athlete complete a 20-year career and continue to compete with excellence until the end.
Currently, a low level of commitment is common in the workplace, civic clubs, churches and families. Many people want the rewards without the responsibilities. If we want to do the bare minimum, we can do so, but we hurt ourselves and everybody around us when we are unconcerned about our duties to God and to those people in our lives. Though it’s possible to be a workaholic and we all need rest, it is time for us to recommit ourselves to honor our commitments and not to speak empty words without any intention of keeping our promises.
When God gave the Ten Commandments, He did not want to take anything away from us. He gave us a wonderful list of instructions for peace and happiness throughout our lifetimes and forever. If we cherish our special spiritual relationship with God and love our fellow human beings as much as ourselves, then we are as content as a bird singing at dawn. Unselfish, generous love pleases God and brings harmony. “Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law” (Romans 13:10).
As Jesus died on the cross, He sealed the New Covenant with His own blood. A blood covenant is more serious than most agreements. Jesus made a permanent and everlasting commitment to us. Why would we grumble about committing ourselves to the One who died for us? Thus, Jesus calls us to walk closely with Him daily. “Then he said to them all: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me'” (Luke 9:23).
— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Georgia
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