We hear no smooth-talking persuasion from Jesus. He describes the path ahead of us clearly and plainly:
“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and
follow me.” (Mark 8:34, NIV)
Who would want to follow Jesus straight into His storm of suffering?
But look at Him. See the person He is and the way He lives. He has experienced all that we have, and so much more. Yet see His peace, His patience, His sufficiency in every situation. See His deep, constant relationship with the Father. See His love, never fearful and never strained.
I want to follow Him. I want to finally lay down this perpetual burden of petty self-concern. I want to pick up my cross and go with Him wherever He goes. I am held captive by the magnificence of Jesus Christ.
“I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him…I want to know Christ…and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.” (Philippians 3:8-9, 10, NIV)