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Today, I am finishing up this series on how to be a disciple or follower of Jesus. We have been focusing on Luke 9:23, “Then he said to them all: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.'” If this is your first time visiting this blog, make sure you go back and read Part I and Part II of the series. Today, we are going to look at what Jesus meant when he said “follow me”.

I had planned to go into what it means to “be like Jesus”, but today God asked me to show you by sharing about friends of mine who are missionaries in Tonga. I believe they embody Luke 9:23 in a real way. Please take the time to watch their story.

You may not be aware, but Tonga was just hit with level 5 Cyclone Gita, and it did a lot of damage to this family’s home. As I am watching them share the aftermath of this cyclone on social media, what is so abundantly clear, humbling, and inspiring is their joy, gratitude, and unshakeable faith.  They have learned Philippians 4:11-13 that through Christ they can be content in any situation. I am so inspired and so challenged by their faith.

In a video they shared, Chris is walking through the debris into what I believe used to be their kitchen, and he points to a painting on the wall which quotes Isaiah 43:19, “See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams of water in the wasteland.” My verse!  It might seem strange, but I know God is going to move in a huge way for this family through this event.

Following  Jesus means that we live our lives in obedience to whatever he calls us to, whether it’s in moving to the wilds of Tonga, or across the country, or being a shining light to our neighborhood.  It’s a complete surrender of our own will to do what God wills. It is a complete surrender of our resources to be used to serve God and others. That is the example that Jesus set for us. He surrendered his own life for us in obedience to God.

Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”

Are you a disciple of Jesus? Does your life reflect that? Would you pray that God would show you where you could follow Him better?

If you would like to help Chris and Ashley recover from the storm and rebuild their home. I have set up a gofundme page for them. Thanks in advance for your generosity and support for this amazing family. 

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