Then he said to the crowd, "If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me. "
While we are saved by grace rather than by works, the natural result of our salvation should be a desire to share the Good News with others and to serve God with our whole heart. Jesus has saved us, saved us from a fate worse than death. We are not only saved, we become joint heirs with Christ. We are adopted into the family of God! We are no longer "father-less"... we have a Father! It is too wonderful!
I do not know about you but when someone does something wonderful for me, I want to do something wonderful for them. As I think about the people in my life whom I love, I know that it fills me with joy whenever I am able to do anything for them. So, I want to ask this question. What are we willing to do for God?
I'm going to take it a step further. We say that we love God but... what are we willing to give to Him? Are we willing to offer ourselves... all that we are, all that we have to Him? Or are we just giving Him lip-service?
Jesus goes on to say:
"If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.
And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but are yourself lost or destroyed?" Luke 9:24-25
Jesus makes it very clear that in order to follow him, we must sacrifice our way for His way. If we do not do so, we are not following Him.