Matt. 16:24-25 Then Jesus said to the disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross, and follow me. If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for me, you will find true life.”
Jesus did not mess around. He told it like it is. If anyone wants to be known by Christ and live for Him, there must be some real decisions made. First, we must put aside selfish ambition. One of the ways to determine the genuineness of faith is to look at what one lives for. A true follower of Christ lives for Christ and not himself. He is not driven to please himself and make himself known amongst his part of the world.
A true follower of Christ also takes up his cross and follows Christ. A cross is where self is sacrificed and love is displayed. It is where total commitment to Christ is proven. A cross is very painful. It is a lonely place to be. It is misunderstood by most and mocked by many. The cross is where faith and trust in God is proven. It is immoveable and requires all that we have to give. The cross is not easy to endure and never is to be taken lightly.
A true follower of Christ understands the dynamic of giving over to Christ his life, all of his life. He understands that only Christ can save the soul and nothing on earth is worth holding onto compared to Christ. Jesus is the focal point of his living. He is willing to give up all of what this life has to offer in order to remain faithful to Christ.
Only those who surrender to Christ all of life will have eternal life. Failure to surrender to Christ costs one eternal life in Christ. Are you sold out to Jesus? Have you given Him all of you, or you still trying to hang on to parts of you? Are you living for Him alone, or are you still living for what the world has to offer? God will not ignore our divided loyalties.