“MAKING YOUR LIFE COUNT FOR SOMETHING”
“And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” (Mark 8:34)
Leaving a legacy and living a life are connected in the fact that both deal with living your life, although it does not necessarily mean either would be positive or productive. The way you live your life is a personal choice and granted, there are many elements that may enter into the choice you make. Character is certainly one of the great factors that helps you make the choice of what kind of life you live, whether positive or negative, whether productive or barren. The type of home life you are exposed to will also influence your life, to a degree, as you determine what kind of life you choose to lead. A dysfunctional home life can contribute greatly to your choices. When a person is exposed to a life of drama and an unsettled family setting, you can be sure that there will be tremendous issues in knowing which direction is the right one to follow.
The greatest of all influences in a person’s life is spiritual, i.e., “a foundation based on a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. With a spiritual foundation a person of poor character can have that flaw improved and strengthened through a continuing exposure and embracing of spiritual truths. Even a person that has come from a dysfunctional home can be converted into a positive thinking, productive person because he was first converted to be a child of God, and now has all the necessary ingredients to live a life that would count for something.
When Jesus was exhorting the group in our text to “take up his cross, and follow me,” He was saying, in essence, “make your life count for something.” He was admonishing them that they had a choice to make in their life and they should (and would) make the choice that would be most important to them personally. These people were close associates of Jesus, but obviously some had not made the choice to follow Him completely. Perhaps, the thought of sacrificing a more comfortable life was not as inviting to them as just listening to His teaching or supporting His cause at their convenience. Jesus was not looking for convenient followers; He was looking for committed followers, those willing to make their lives count for something worthwhile. Taking up the cross would be a challenge to deprive one’s self of all the nice and comforting things in life. The cross would represent a burden (about the ministry of Christ) a person would need to engage in every day. It would sometimes be painful, both physically and spiritually. It would not be a popular choice that would be approved by all people. It would cost the person something in this life, but be very rewarding in eternity. This would certainly be a life that would count for something.
Christian, what about you today? Do you want the life you live to count for something worthwhile? Are you willing to make the choice to pick up your cross and follow Jesus completely? Remember, life is about choices. Now the choice is yours. Choose right!
Pastor H. Preston Parker