Today’s post might seem like a bit of a “punt” on my part, but there are instances where something is articulated so well, trying to duplicate the same idea won’t cut it.
Because, as we talk about death this week before Holy Week the words of Christ continue to ring heavy in my ears:
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23)
I know this is an oft-quoted verse, but I don’t know if we understand the magnitude of the idea:
To truly follow Christ, we must die.
You must die.
We often interpret this to mean death to sin. I’m sure this is part of it, but I feel it to be much more. Death to ourselves means death to our preferences, to our sensibilities, and to what we think is right. Jesus is asking us to take on his preferences, sensibilities, and what he thinks is right.
I have visited some churches lately that are wanting to become more friendly to the seeker and to “the lost” (not sure what I think about that phrase), but I am skeptical. A majority of churches pay a lot of lip service to caring about folks who don’t know Christ, but ask these same folks to conform to whatever culture or specific doctrines before they can have “membership” (don’t know how I feel about that either).
This recent post by Jen Hatmaker really sums up how I feel about the issue of dying to ourselves – especially as a church – for people to know the true, sacrificial love of Jesus.
Tell us what you think. I don’t think there is any way I could put it better myself.