Luke 9:23

I had a Pastor friend of mine contact me today, asking what Luke 9:23 meant to me?  He was looking to include some of my thoughts on that in a sermon he was working on.  For those that don’t have a bible handy, Luke 9:23 states: “Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”
WOW… Where to begin?!?
What that passage means / has meant to me, in my life is A WHOLE LOT!
I have awoken each day, still experiencing, struggling with, fighting against the same temptations of homosexuality that I feel I was born with.  And, that stinks (to put it mildly).
But, I continue to look back at what God (Jesus) has done for me!  Jesus living the perfect life and then suffering / dying on the cross for my sins (and yours), conquering death and the devil, rising triumphant, and I am / have been / continue to be HUMBLED!  He did that for me?!?
And, while at times, I get EXTREMELY frustrated… saying: “Why Lord, am I not attracted to women?… Why can’t I have ANY sort of God-pleasing sex life – with a wife?”  “Why me, Why me???”
I turn back to Luke 9:23; as well as, other areas of God’s Word, and I concentrate and am THANKFUL for the Bigger Picture.  I can (as we all can – with the help of The Holy Spirit) see The Finish Line (Heaven, Eternal Life).  And, that is where all of our eyes should continually be set.
God never promised us a rose garden here on earth.  But, He did promise far better; one day, with Him in Heaven!
Regarding this, I often turn to the Apostle Paul’s writings in 2 Corinthians 12:8,9 for encouragement.  Here is that text:
Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take {the thorn in my flesh} away from me.  But HE said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”.  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
So, Luke 9:23 means a great deal to me, as I hope it does for you also!