24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me.
Are you a Christ follower? Before you answer that question think about the words of Jesus here in Matthew 16:24. I am very concerned based on what Jesus has said for the future of many who say they are born again, who claim they love Jesus, but are you basing your love on what you say, or what Jesus said? Why is this important? Because one of the many examples in scripture is the church at Laodicea that had a totally different view of themselves then what Jesus did. In fact they are completely opposite views. Without going into a lot of details which you can read about them in Revelation chapter 3, Jesus said when He returned that He would vomit them out of His mouth. These are believers He is speaking to.
What does it take to be lukewarm? Simple, do little to nothing for the kingdom of God. If you take a hot cup of coffee, sit it down and do nothing with it, it will turn lukewarm. Same is true with a cold glass of water. It is amazing to me how many believers who say they know Jesus don’t really follow Him according to His own words. What was the purpose of giving your life to Him if not to follow Him? Jesus said if you want to be His follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow Him. To give up your own way means to stop living life for you and they way you think you should live, and instead follow His example. Jesus went to church. That’s right, and even with people that wanted Him dead. Many believers are not consistent at all in going to church. It is not about attending a service, but being equipped for the work of ministry. Learning how to give up your ways for His. Yet many have no problem living out their lives committed to other activities, but church is not one of them.
Jesus walked in love, Jesus did only what He saw the Father doing, Jesus said only what the Father wanted Hims to say, and to summarize His life He was focused on using His gifts and abilities to build God’s kingdom. Jesus said we are to seek first the kingdom of God, that would mean we take up our cross, giving our lives as a living sacrifice to build God’s kingdom. How much of your time, money, and giftings are used to help build God’s kingdom? How must of your time, money, and giftings are used for personal reasons only? If we truly are “Christ Followers”, then we are taking the new life He gave us and using it to bring glory to God. Sad to say not everyone who just prayed a prayer and attends church now and then and gives occasionally to God’s work will hear, “Well done good and faithful servant”. If you are not giving up your way to follow Christ’s example, why then did you call upon Him to be the Lord of your life? To live a life that really will mean something in the end, you must choose to “Follow Him”.