Matthew 16:24–25 ESV (English Standard Version)
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
I heard a statement on the Good News Network (GNN) that has a profound truth. I was in total agreement when the commentator said:
“Following Jesus is the right thing to do, but it is not the easiest thing to do.”
The warning Jesus spoke to perspective followers highlights that very point.
Two words Jesus used probably discourage many of those who heard them from becoming disciples. To “deny” oneself goes against our created instinct of self-preservation. The “cross” was a symbol of shame and pain. Both words imply hardship and difficulties.
Yet, following Jesus is still the right thing to do. We must keep in mind that our citizenship is not of this world. When we get too comfortable with what the Bible calls “wrong” (sin and evil), we are prone to compromise on what is “right.”
God’s Word for today is a reminder that no matter how much effort we utilized to gain worldly success, it will all be lost in eternity. But when we do what is right in God's sight, we will gain blessings that cannot be measured by earthly standards.