A tourist in Florida was admiring the necklace worn by a local Indian. "What is it made of?" she asked. "Alligator's teeth," the Indian replied. "I suppose," she said patronizingly, "that they mean as much to you as pearls do to us." "Oh no," he objected. "Anybody can open an oyster."
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” Matthew 16:24
Anyone. The invitation is open, but there must be desire. We desire what we value. So, if we value what we hear or see and want to follow Jesus, knowing Him becomes our desire. It seems like too many church-goers today are satisfied with just that, going to church. Church attendance is not the extent of our purpose. Our purpose in this life is to know God and the Lord gives us direction here. “Let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow Jesus.” To deny self does not mean to deny things. It means to give yourself wholly to Christ and share in His shame and death. To take up the cross is not referring to burdens, but to identify with Christ in His rejection, suffering, and death. Do we really want to know our Savior that well? Here’s some questions to consider: Will we deny ourselves or live for ourselves? Will we take up our cross or ignore the cross? Will we follow Christ or follow the world?
We begin Experiencing God this Sunday. This study has been used by God to help believers come to know God and His will and also learn how to listen to Him. Anyone can do it, but not everyone will. I hope you accept the challenge and take advantage of this opportunity to experience God together as a church. Buy a book and join a group Sunday.