It’s true. Following Jesus is a lifestyle that builds on past
lessons and decisions, but also depends on our dedication day by
day. We cannot live off yesterday’s successes, last week’s prayers,
or the Bible stories we heard when we were children.
Each new day is both a challenge and an opportunity. Our faith will
be challenged, and we can use that challenge as an opportunity to
grow in our relationship with God. Jesus Himself said that those who
wanted to be His disciples were expected to be in a continual
attitude of self-denial and obedience to Him. Here’s how the Lord
put it:”If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself,
and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23).
day unfolds, we must pause and remind ourselves that this is a day
dedicated to God, that it is to be used for His glory, and that it
is best lived with a continual recollection of what Jesus did for us
on the cross. It’s a daily commitment.
Keith Miller puts it this way: “It has never ceased to amaze me that
we Christians have developed a kind of selective vision which allows
us to be deeply and sincerely involved in worship and church
activities and yet almost totally pagan in the day in, day out guts
of our business lives and never realize it.”
Jesus did not say “Take up your cross and follow me to church on
Sunday morning, then you can do whatever you like the rest of the
week.” Cross-bearing is a day-to-day activity for those who would
n 1990, center fielder Brett Butler left the San Francisco Giants
as a free agent. He was loved in San Francisco, and rightly so. He
was a great player. But the best offer came from the LA Dodgers –
the Giant’s rivals.
Early in the season, when the two teams met for the first time
that year, Butler was the center of much attention. He was well
loved by his former team, but now the Dodgers were playing in San
Francisco. When the line ups were being read and the players
introduced, the crowd roared as Butler, their former player was
announced. The people still loved him. Perhaps they felt he was
still a Giant at heart. Brett Butler did something interesting at
that moment. When he heard the response of the crowd, he walked up
to his new manager, Tommy Lasorda, and he hugged him, in front of
the thousands that filled San Francisco’s Candlestick Park.
Instantaneously, the cheers for Butler turned to boos and insults.
After the game, he was asked by the press why he did that. Brett
Butler responded, “It turned a page in my career. I’m an LA Dodger
now; I’m not a Giant. That just kind of solidified it. I wanted them
to know I’m a Dodger”.
When people become Christians, in one way or another, they need
to “hug Jesus” in the sight of their family, friends, coworkers and
acquaintances. They need to make it clear who they now belong to –
even if it causes some to boo and sneer. Like Brett Butler, we need
to go public with our commitment. Let there be no question in
anyone’s mind, our loyalties are to Him first.
“The problem with the Christian life is that it’s so daily.” Yes! It
is! And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
[text from file received by Ron Otto, Lincoln Christian Church]