In Luke's Gospel there is a scene in which Jesus is going town to town preaching the Gospel.  Luke states that Jesus had a great following, he doesn't say how many were following but it's safe to say hundreds if not thousands.  Anyone on the outside would have seen this following and been impressed by how many followers Jesus had, but what they didn't know was that many of them were just along for the ride and the benefits and not genuine followers.  Jesus knew this, and He turned to the crowd and said to them "“If you want to be my disciple, you must, by comparison, hate everyone else—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. 27And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple." Luke 14:26-27.  Harsh words from the popular preacher, and when the people heard this many of them deserted Him leaving a small following and His disciples.

  This had me thinking to myself, How many of the people today who call themselves followers are genuinely following Jesus are actually picking up their cross and walking with Him, versus just following Him hoping to reap all of the benefits.  To follow Jesus is to have an open hand mindset, all that we have is His.  Now this doesn't mean we can't have nice things, or enjoy blessings from the Lord, but we must put all of our blessings in their proper place and prioritize living for Christ and not ourselves.  Jesus told the rich young ruler to sell all of his possessions and then come follow him and the ruler left feeling sad because he cared way too much about his stuff.  He only wanted Jesus if he could have his old life as well.  Jesus doesn't want a part of our lives, or just a piece of our heart, He wants all of it.  He wants believers who are willing to give up everything and everyone we love to follow Him.   

  So I ask you today who is reading this blog.  Are you All In for Jesus?  Have you denied yourself and picked up your cross?  Is Jesus the most important thing in your life?  Jesus said that followers of Him will face trouble, but to take heart because he has conquered the world, and that any suffering we experience in our short existence on this planet will be made right on the other side of our death.  So let's follow Jesus, carry each others burdened and life fully devoted to Him.