Irvin Wasswa, Tylertown Campus Pastor LHBC

 Luke 9:23
And he said to all, If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

When I played football during high school, our coaches were big proponents of creating certain “catchphrases” which would help encourage and inspire our team.  Many of the catchphrases were pretty cheesy in my opinion, but one of the phrases that I still remember to this day was “start fast, finish strong”. The purpose of the phrase was to encourage us to start each and every workout well. What this required from us was to choose to make a conscious decision to give it all we got when that first whistle blew, that first rep in the weight room, or that first drill on the practice field. In doing that, we set the tone for how the rest of practice was going to go. Many times if we started off practice sluggish, the rest of practice was going to go as such.   But if we started fast, then we were going to own the day!

This principle of starting fast can be one that can be applied to the Christian life as well. As 2019 has come, the call for us is to choose to “start fast” in devoting ourselves to following Jesus. The setting for Luke 9:23 is Jesus preaching to an audience of disciples. Jesus tells the crowd there about the realities of what it looks like to follow Him: Deny oneself and take up your cross.

In other words, He shared that it is more than just about being a really good person. He shared that it was more than just going to the Temple to worship every once in a while. The call for those disciples was to daily deny oneself and choose to be all in for Jesus every single day of your life.

The call for us as Christians today is the exact same. What does that look like? What that means is that when you wake up to start a new day, you say no to your flesh and your desires and say yes to Jesus and His plan for your life for that day.  When you wake up you choose to say no to indulging in self and saying yes to spending time in God’s word before you start your day. What it means for you is to say no to being the captain of your life and say yes to Jesus being the Master of your life.

You want to start fast in 2019? Choose to answer the call of Jesus and lay down yourself, and say yes to following Him every day of your life.

Lord, help me to see you are the only One worthy to be worshipped. Help me to start off 2019 strong by laying down myself and choosing to follow after you every single day. Amen!

Galatians 2:20 – I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.