March 9 Devotional
Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to be willing to follow you no matter where it may lead, no matter what it might cost, no matter what I must leave behind. Amen.
Scripture Reading for the Day: Luke 9:57-62
Journal: Which of these three men do you relate best? Why? What statement do you want to make to Jesus today? What is his word to you today? Will you follow him? Is there a “but” involved? What is your “but?”
Reflection: Jesus had just set his face to go to Jerusalem. Then, suddenly, he comes across three men that are would-be followers. And as the scene unfolds, it is very important that we keep that in mind. We must remember the turn towards Jerusalem that Jesus has just taken. From this point on everything will be focused on his sacrifice, his suffering, and his death. From here on out there will not be as many miracles, there will not be as much activity, he will not be quite as available to the masses as he was before. From now on his focus will be sharpened - shifted to the twelve (and their preparation) and to the cross. That is the culmination of his mission, and it is now at hand.
So, as these three approach him, asking to follow, he is fully mindful of exactly where his road is leading. He is keenly aware of the high cost involved in where he is heading and what lies before him to be done. So, literally, as these three men declare their intention to follow Jesus, they are declaring, unbeknownst to them, their acceptance of the invitation to “come and die.”
These are the lenses through which we must view Luke 9:57-62. This is this context in which we must hear the first man say, “I will follow you wherever you go.” For Jesus knew all too well that currently that anywhere involved the cross. I think that is why Jesus’ response to all three men is so strong. It is almost as if he is saying, “If you really want to follow me, it will always involve a cross; there are no ifs, ands, or buts. Are you still willing?”
And that is the question that each of us must answer during the season of Lent as well. Will we follow? All the way to the cross? We will come and die to ourselves? No ifs, ands, or buts?
Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself
Phil C. has been serving in Eurasia for over 10 years. His focus has been the Tatar people, a largely Muslim people group. Phil has worked with others in launching a local organization that provides language instruction with the goal of helping to equip believers to bring the light of the gospel to the least-reached in their own language. Pray today for his students to be diligent in their studies with the idea of using their new language in ministry to Tatars.
Thabiti Anyabwile is the planter/pastor of Anacostia Bible Church, a new church plant in the heart of Washington, D.C. It’s in the Anacostia neighborhood, a place with high crime, bad schools and no gospel centered churches. It is an exciting mission field of great promise and greater reward for those who love Jesus. Pray today for Thabiti and his family.
Closing Prayer: All to Jesus I surrender; all to Him I freely give; I will ever love and trust Him, in His presence daily live. I surrender all, I surrender all; all to Thee, my blessed Savior, I surrender all. Amen.