Carey Lewis Devotions
Saturday, January 27th, 2018
Success Strategies (Part 18)
Jesus said to His disciples, 'If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
Matthew 16:24 (NKJV)
To most American Christians, life without an iPhone is a sacrifice. Because we live in a place of plenty. Possessions overwhelm us. Have we become rich, young rulers, following many of God's Laws, but unwilling to sacrifice our possessions to follow Jesus?*

Consider one definition of sacrifice: Forfeiture of something highly valued for the sake of a greater value or claim. Is there any other One who to has a greater value or claim to our lives than Jesus?

His first disciples left all and followed Him. Do we? Unfortunately, I don't think 'sort of' hits the mark. So what's the answer?

Sacrifice. But how can we succeed as ambassadors of Christ in media without the right stuff? Like training or the money to get started?

Among Christ's final Words to His disciples are these: 'But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one' (Luke 22:36). When they responded, 'Lord, look, here are two swords,' He said: 'It is enough' (v.38).

Similarly, ambassadors for Christ must be prepared. But we must not become pampered princes or cosmetic queens. We must ask God when enough is enough--and we must be willing to sacrifice anything - or everything.

We must tune in to His still small Voice. It's a quiet frequency that requires a deliberate turn of the hand, head and heart. Its broadcast is continual, but listening to It is optional.

Here's the thing: If we become laden down by possessions, then we'll be too heavy to move when He says, 'Come, follow Me.' **

Because God promotes people who sacrifice selfishness. Therein, sacrifice is a success strategy.

To Be Continued...

* Jesus counsels the rich, young ruler:

** See Matthew 16:24, 19:21; Mark 8:34, 10:21; Luke 9:23, 18:22.

P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Success Strategies series.

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"I labored, yet not I. By the grace of God, I am what I am, and do what I do' (paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 15:10). I love God's Word. As a late-in-life committed Christian with no Bible training prior to age 51, some people wonder how I'm qualified to write devotions. I wonder that, too. But God loves children and fools for Him. I am both. Ghost Writer? God.

Carey Lewis

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