Greg Laurie Harvest Daily Devotional

Our biggest sale! 50% off your PLUS subscription. Use code SUMMER
<< Greg Laurie Daily Devotions

If You Want to Follow Christ... - Greg Laurie Devotion - August 17, 2021

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

If You Want to Follow Christ . . .

“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 NKJV).

The cross has become a symbol of many things today. We see it depicted as a religious icon and in ornate jewelry. Yet the real cross of history was the symbol of a very cruel death. For people of the first century, the cross was a hated, despised symbol.

The Romans crucified many people on the roads leading into their cities as a warning to anyone who would dare to defy the powers of Rome.

So, when Jesus said to His disciples in Matthew 16:24, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me” (NKJV), the meaning was not lost on them.

Jesus made this statement at Caesarea Philippi, after He predicted His betrayal, crucifixion, and resurrection. At this point, Simon Peter took an authoritarian position and began to rebuke Jesus, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!” (verse 22 NKJV).

Essentially Peter was saying, “Avoid the unpleasant! Avoid the difficulty! Don’t give up anything! Let’s just continue as we have been up to this point.”

But Jesus was saying to Peter and the others, “Look, if you want to be my disciples, then you, too, will have to deny yourself and take up your cross. Yet as you do that, you will find life as it was meant to be lived.”

Sometimes we identify whatever is bothering us or plaguing us as our cross to bear. But that isn’t correct. The cross symbolizes the same thing to every person: it speaks of dying to self, of putting God’s will before our own. 

The meaning of life, the purpose of life, is to know God. The best life to live is the Christian life. And to live it the most effectively, we must take up our cross and follow Jesus Christ.

Copyright © 2020 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.

For more relevant and biblical teaching from Pastor Greg Laurie, go to www.harvest.org
and
Listen to Greg Laurie's daily broadcast on OnePlace.com.

Watch Greg Laurie's weekly television broadcast on LightSource.com.

the truth in true crime j warner wallace greg laurie offerIn thanks for your gift, you can receive a copy of The Truth in True Crime by J. Warner Wallace.

Former cold-case detective Jim Wallace recounts the real-life details of some of his most extraordinary cases, gleaning insights about human behavior and biblical truth. See what investigating death teaches us about the meaning of life in this unique page-turner. A copy will be sent to you for a gift of any amount to Harvest Ministries this month.

Click here to find out more!



More Greg Laurie Daily Devotions Articles