The ultimate goal for every believer is to be like Christ. God is perfect and He doesn’t change. His commission to all of us is make disciples of all nations and baptize them in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The job of a disciple then is to change by growing in character that requires increase in knowledge, the right attitude and behavior, thoughts, relationship and obedient action. Disciples must have faith and increase in spiritual life as well.
Disciples must strive for perfection for Jesus said “be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect”. The truth is we will never be perfect of course, but it should still be our target nevertheless. We will miss the target at times or fall short and that is sin, but we repent and aim for and again move toward the target. We must make every effort to be like Him. Jesus said if anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
Denying ourselves doesn’t mean we forget who we are, but we deny all of these earthly desire that lead us to eternal hell or spiritual death. In Jesus time, whenever someone takes up a cross, it means he is on his way to die on that cross. If Jesus said that we have to take up our cross daily, it means we have to die every day. It is obvious that we cannot die physically every day. So Jesus was talking about spiritual thing. Every day, we must put to die our own will and pleasure, anger , greed, lust, you name it, every earthly thing that the devil use every single day to make sure we are fall short of God’s glory.
We have to be conscious that we have an enemy. Jesus said we have to take up our cross daily. So that is a conscious and deliberate decision and then followed by real action to do it. Every day since we wake up, we have to make a decision for every thought and action that we are about to do whether to follow God’s will which mean we put to death our own will or we do what we want and we miss the target to be like Christ. Because Jesus is all about doing the will of the Father (John 6:38 – for I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me).
We have to want to be like Christ because God created us in His image but we lost that. Jesus died on the cross so that we now have the freedom to get our image back; to be whom God created us to be; to do His will. So deny ourselves, take up our cross daily and follow Him.
Lord Jesus. I want to be Your disciple. I want to become like You, to be who You created me to be. Help me every day to deny myself and give me the strength to take up my cross and do Your will. Holy Spirit lead me to put to death every earthly desire that pulled me away from God. In the Name of Jesus I pray.