Steps to Christ is one of my favorite books on the subject of having a personal relationship with Jesus. I was reading this morning in the chapter titled "The Work and the Life" and I discovered some thought provoking material. The author, Ellen White, talks about how Christ did not lead a life of ease and devotion to Himself, but rather He worked with untiring efforts for the salvation of lost mankind. From the manger to the cross, Jesus never chose the easy path. Every decision He made was for the salvation of souls, no matter how difficult or painful the result. The "one great object of His life" was summed up in Matthew chapter 20: "Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:28).

As followers of Jesus, this should be the one object of our lives as well. It shouldn't matter how destitute, poor, or painful the path is; if it brings hope and salvation to one person, it is worth choosing. When Jesus called His followers He never promised them ease and prosperity. Instead, Jesus told them, and by extension us, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me" (Luke 9:23). The way that Christ leads may not bring us wealth or prosperity. His invitation includes the direction to pick up our cross. But the blessings we will receive when we share the gift of salvation will far exceed any pain or hardship that it may cost. May we always choose to follow the One Who came to minister.

Choosing to follow,

Pastor Sutherland

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