These are some of the most challenging words in the bible. They demand we consider what we are getting into as we follow Christ. He didn't come to promise us prosperity, success and a good life. He promised we would die!
This verse is so contrary to our way of viewing the gospel in America. We look for what we can get out of it. God is offering us a gospel that demands we give up everything!
We must die! And we have to deal with that reality daily.
And then there is that nagging phrase at the end...'and follow me.' What does that mean as I live out each day? How do I do that? It demands I lay aside all I want...my comfort, desires, ease and prosperity and literally die to it all and then follow him.
This passage is the one we most try to ignore because it demands we choose death over life...a death to me, to self, to what I want, to my comfort, to my plans, to my success and surrender to him and follow him even if it means I have nothing...but much more important...even if it means I keep all I have but live with a completely different attitude towards it all.
I have to be honest...I do not like this verse. Its demands force me to die to all I want so I can actually live to all he wants. And it demands I do that daily.
So, it's dyin' time. Lord, what must I die to today to follow you?