Chase Smith, pastor Fellowship Baptist Church, Shelbyville
SHELBYVILLE, IL. —
Devotion is a strong word. It overcomes obstacles and barriers and yet comes into question whenever something goes wrong. Devotion is vital in a marriage, friendship, work environment, military service and other situations where complete dedication is required. So I ask the question, what does it mean to be devoted to Christ?
Christ answered this himself more than once. In Luke 9:23-26 Jesus explains that if anyone would be his disciple, they would need to possess the characteristics of a devoted follower. First they would deny themselves. Following Christ means letting go of our own self will and putting our full trust in him. Our obedience to and dependence on Christ as the Messiah is not just about giving up control; it is about surrendering our lives to a loving Savior who gave His life for our redemption.
Part of the self denial process involves taking up your cross daily. The common phrase ‘my cross to bear’ refers to living with the circumstances that your past decisions have placed you in and how you deal with them in the future. If you have made a decision to follow Christ, then you have a cross to bear which determines how you will live in the future. This is not to be taken lightly. Christ expects us to be so devoted to him that we could even die for our faith. It happened in Jesus’ day and is happening today in many parts of the world.
Jesus then talks about following Him. In his day, it literally meant to drop everything and follow Christ. Today it means to follow his teaching and do what he says.
Jesus concluded with a very tough statement. He declared that if anyone is “ashamed of me and of my words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed” when he stands in front of God at the judgment. Basically, if you are ashamed of him on earth, he will be ashamed of you when you stand in front of God. You deny him on earth— he will deny you in heaven.
What kind of devoted follower of Christ are you? Do you deny yourself? Do you take up your cross daily? Are you ashamed of Christ? We all need to grow to be more like our Lord, how can you grow in your devotion to Him?
Chase Smith is the pastor of Fellowship Baptist Church in Shelbyville. For more information from Chase or the church call 774-3636 or visitwww.fellowshipinshelbyville.com.