Disneyland and the Rich Ruler

(Communion devotional from this morning’s church service)

Erin and I spent the last to days at Disneyland and let me tell you, we did a lot of walking. Not only did we walk around both California Adventure and Disneyland, but we also walked back and forth from our hotel, which was just a block or so away from the park. All of that to say, my feet are pretty sore today. It actually, hurts a little to be standing here right now.

And, it’s these sore feet that have caused me to wonder today what it must have been like to follow Jesus. Now, I’m sure people were more accustomed to walking around all over the place, because their feet were their main mode of transportation, but I’m also sure that it wasn’t easy.

Today, we don’t have to worry so much about our feet getting sore following him, but that doesn’t mean that following Jesus is any easier. As Christians we are encouraged to deny ourselves, take up our crosses, and follow Him. And, I think denying ourselves is harder than any amount of walking we could do if we were literally following Him.

I’m reminded of the story of the Rich Ruler who went up to Jesus wanting to know what he must do to inherit eternal life. After telling Jesus that he had worked really hard to keep all the commandments since he was a boy, Jesus told him he must do one more thing. He asked him to deny himself. He said sell everything you have, give it to the poor and then come and follow me. Tough words for a Rich Ruler, and I think, tough words for us. The encouragement we have in this however, is that Jesus has already lead the way. He denied himself in perhaps the most radical way possible. He died on a cross, not for his sake, but for ours.

I ask you, now, as we take the bread and the cup, to keep in mind two things. I ask that you think about how you need to deny yourself as Jesus asked you to, and how grateful you are that Jesus has already provided for us the greatest example possible of this self denial through his death on a cross.

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