An army lieutenant called his platoon together and spoke: 'Ok boys, I'm looking for volunteers. Chances are, this mission won't succeed and many of you won't come back. If you're interested, step forward'. Everybody looked around, then took a collective step backwards, leaving one unsuspecting 'volunteer' standing alone.
God is not looking for 'involuntary volunteers' like that poor soldier. Jesus said, 'If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily.' He wants people who are willing to leave their comfort zone; to give up their expectations that life be lived on their terms; to sacrifice everything for people who may never know they did it; to pay the price so that God's purposes can be fulfilled. And what's more, He expects us to do it 'daily'.
When Jesus said, 'Whoever does not carry his own cross... cannot be My disciple' (Luke 14:27 NAS), He wasn't asking us to do something He Himself hasn't done. Oswald Chambers said, 'If we are devoted to the cause of humanity we will be crushed and broken-hearted, for we shall often meet with ingratitude... But if our motive is love for God, no ingratitude will hinder us from serving our fellow man.' John says, 'We understand what love is when we realise... Christ gave His life for us' (1 John 3:16 NLT).
So what now? Think about someone who you know who you don't particularly get on with or like. Ask God how you can show them love today. You may not get thanks, but remember, it's for your love for God.
SoulFood: 1 Peter 1-5, Mark 9:14-29, Ps 49, Pr 12:20-22
The Word For You Today (an adaptation of The Word for Today authored by Bob & Debby Gass) is published under licence by RBG New Zealand. 2011 UCB International Ltd