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The Cost of Following Jesus

Today’s Reflection

FOLLOWING JESUS is courageous, risky, adventurous, and thoroughly disruptive. Following Jesus is an act of trust-filled surrender to the discipline of love that ultimately frees us for a life of abundant mercy.

Jesus warned and promised his first apprentices, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it” (Luke 9:23-24).

Following Jesus is demanding, no question. Following Jesus into the world and loving the world with God will stress and stretch us. But it will also bring us unexpected and inexplicable joy.

– Rebecca Dwight Bruff
Loving the World with God

From pages 54-55 of Loving the World with God by Rebecca Dwight Bruff. Copyright © 2014 by Rebecca Dwight Bruff. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

When have you experienced unexpected joy in Jesus? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

After saying this Jesus was troubled in spirit, and declared, “Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me.”

John 13:21, NRSV

This Week: pray for opportunities to serve. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section below.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center web site.

Saints, Inc.:

This week we remember: Margaret Clitherow (March 25).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2016 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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{ 5 comments… add one }

  • robert moeller March 23, 2016, 3:52 am

    Thankful for yesterday’s tasks accomplished, tidied up the house, took Anneliese to physical therapy, raked the lawn, and checked the fish pond.

    Most recently I’ve felt the joy of Jesus speaking with Warren on Saturday, having communion, and at unexpected moments in church services. It was a joyous trip to see Erich and go with him to see the new place where he will live. Quite a surprise for both of us, an answer to prayers. Thank You, Lord.

    From the human standpoint following Jesus is a difficult task, with the help of the Holy Spirit and Christ within us we are enabled.

    Maundy Thursday approaches, Passover becomes Communion, the price of our sin is paid by the Lamb of God on Good Friday, and we are saved on Easter with the resurrection of Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Thanks be to God. Amen.

  • Rusty March 23, 2016, 6:45 am

    “Courageous, risky, adventurous, and thoroughly disruptive, and trust-filled surrender.” I think today’s reading is fantastic.

    I recently experienced unexpected joy, collectively with a bunch of people, as I co-taught two 4-week Bible studies at my church this past winter. Many folks in my denomination have never in their lives even cracked open a Bible. But to see some of these individuals light up and excitedly start talking about scripture and how it could impact them directly and immediately in the church experience and daily lives – wow! That was a joy. People began to experience, perhaps for the first time, how God’s Word – God’s words – can be the channel through which they can encounter God himself. What a happy disruption that was! Praise you, Lord, and thank you.

  • Betsy March 23, 2016, 7:31 am

    I have experienced “courageous, risky and thoroughly disruptive, trust filled surrender” as I’ve begun serving on a Kairos Ministry Team. As we plan a weekend for women relatives of incarcerated men, we’ve had illness among Team members, spiritual struggles, trouble with the venu for weekend and a host of other small dramas pop up. I know that God is calling us to see this through, but we are being pulled in many directions as we try to carry out this work. Following Jesus IS demanding work, but I know the joy will follow. Excellent devotion and much needed!

  • Jill March 23, 2016, 7:54 am

    Great is Thy Faithfulness. Your mercies are, indeed, new every morning – and sufficient for the day.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling March 23, 2016, 9:46 pm

    Stretch us, O Lord!

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