I love this time of year! I’ve written about fall before, but it inspires me, so here we are again! I love the crisp air, the colors changing, the pumpkin-spice-everything! I really do enjoy this time of year. It seems fall has taken its time, fully settling in Iowa this year as we have dealt with unseasonably warm temperatures late into the season, but I think it’s finally here.
As I sit here drinking my cup of coffee, yes, with Pumpkin Spice creamer, and read some Scriptures to start my day, I’m thinking about a Bible Study we’re doing on Wednesday nights at our church. It’s Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman and it’s rich! The chapter we just finished focuses heavily on Luke 9:23 “if anyone wants to be my disciple, he must deny himself and take up their cross and follow me”. The emphasis of this Bible study is the “follow me” portion of this verse. While I enjoy the message, I’ve really been internalizing the verses following this one: “For whosoever would save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man profited, if he gain the whole world, and lose or forfeit his own self?”
I’m thinking about the cost of truly following Jesus. It’s everything. It’s our whole lives.
But, wait, what does that even mean?
It means that the deepest recesses of my heart all the way to the most public aspects of my life, ALL belong to Jesus. That, truly following him is about surrendering it all. My time, my money, my will, my wants, my needs, my family, my passions and aspirations, my desires, my regrets, my complaints, my insecurities, and even my sin: it all must be surrendered.
Just as summer surrenders over to fall with the leaves turning colors, and the air lightening with cooler temperatures, and full, productive crops being surrendered into harvest, I feel like it’s a parallel to our lives being completely transformed by Jesus. Many of us have made commitments to BELIEVE in Jesus, but that isn’t enough. We must be willing to deny ourselves and take up our crosses, daily. Daily surrendering. Daily denying ourselves. Daily losing ourselves, but gaining Jesus. Many of us are too insecure to truly follow Jesus; we feel unworthy, unloveable, too much of a mess, but in Scripture there are many examples of people that Jesus called to follow him that weren’t worthy either. But He doesn’t always call the worthy, the righteous, the rich, or the organized (had to throw that in there for myself). He calls ANYONE. EVERYONE. Regardless of your shortcomings. He’s calling you to truly follow him! If you don’t know Jesus today, I encourage you to say a simple prayer of repentance and accept him as the Lord of your life. And then surrender everything and follow him. I also encourage those of you who already know Him to begin walking a new walk today of total surrender.
As you enjoy this beautiful new season outside, begin to embrace a new season in your own life.