Am I willing to lose short-term gain for the long-term benefit of the kingdom?

While I was spending time with God this morning, I came across the Luke 9:23.  This simple verse has huge life implications.  Luke 9:23 says, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

I paused.  In 2014, when another person comes after us, he/she is generally chasing us down.  This is probably the most elementary part of the verse.  We are supposed to chase Jesus down.  We are not to stop until to catch him.  Our approach should be the same as a police officer who is chasing a criminal.  Jesus is not a criminal.  I understand that, it is an example of what our pursuit should look like.

The verse goes on to teach us that after we chase down Jesus, we can’t stake a claim in who we think we are.  Rather, we should put that person on a cross every day.  Those are tough words.  I like to think I am certain things in life.  I like to think I have a plan and goals.  I like to think I know the direction my life is heading.  

All of those things should be killed every day in order to follow Jesus.

That is easy to write and difficult to live.  Jesus knew this.  Jesus took up his cross in order to pursue kingdom gains.  In fact, he went to a garden late at night to ask God if there was any way he could see the same results without the cross.

I think Jesus was essentially asking this question, “Lord, can I build the kingdom with the same effectiveness without dying?”  My life asks the same question many days.

The truth that God pointed out to me this morning is the importance of allowing Him to change what is at stake in my life and change my perspective.  Over the past 6 months, God has been changing my perspective on kingdom expansion.  God has been teaching me that reaching to short-term success will result in a short-term build of the kingdom.  He is also teaching me that long-term investments is what builds the kingdom for generations. I want to become a person who thinks about the benefits my life will bring the kingdom for generations to come.

There are moments this is painful, but death hurts as it changes our perspective.

So, I ask you today.  What needs to die in your life in order for your kingdom perspective to change?