We are called to be counter cultural, as Christians. We must not put our focus on the world behind us, but rather focus on what lies ahead (Philippians 3:13). The Apostle Paul said, “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” (Col 3:2) He even went so far as to say, “For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” (Col. 3.3). The Christian is called to both faithfully accept our Lord and Savior, and his teachings and commandments. One of these such things he commands us is that Jesus taught if one wants to be his disciple, he must take up his cross, “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24 If we want to follow Christ, we must be serious about Him being LORD of our lives for we know that he was serious about us and doing the Father’s will, so much so that it cost him his life to the cross. For many, the teaching of taking up the cross is the hardest one. Including in scripture, where we are blessed to have many examples of people inquiring information about our LORD and wanting to become followers of His. One such story that comes to mind, is the rich young ruler.
“As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. 19 You know the commandments, ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” 20 And he said to Him, “Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth up.” 21 Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, “One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” 22 But at these words [a]he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property.
23 And Jesus, looking around, *said to His disciples, “How hard it will be for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 The disciples were amazed at His words. But Jesus *answered again and *said to them, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 They were even more astonished and said to Him, “[b]Then who can be saved?” 27 Looking at them, Jesus *said, “With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.” So see, like the rich young ruler in this story many of us want to be saved, to have eternal life but we want it without following Jesus and keeping his commands. And we know what Jesus says about keeping his commands, John 14:15, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” And earlier, in John 8:31 Jesus said to the Jews, “So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples.” John 8:31