Monday, June 4, 2012

The Prize of Following

"If any of you wants to be My follower,
you must turn from your selfish ways, 
take up your cross daily, and follow Me.
If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it.
But if you give up your life for My sake,
you will save it."
(Luke 9:23-24)

There is a cost to discipleship, to following Jesus. But it's not the giving up that matters; it's the gaining.

As our pastor explained so clearly yesterday, it's not about the things that we get from our following. It's about Who we gain - Jesus. Intimacy with the Lover and Maker of our souls. In this life filled with trouble and trials, walking with One who gives peace, and rest.

The prize is worth it all.

So thankful for Jesus, our prize - and desiring to follow. And thanking Him for the journey ...

Quiet moments at beautiful Walnut Grove Park (photo above)
One month into our three-month Sabbatical/Time Off
An incredible gift from Him

His Words that speak truth
And give life
Reminders to listen deeply, and to trust

Being immersed in these Words
Reading (my adapted plan) of the Bible in 90 Days this summer
How can we be so blessed to read His story, in detail, recorded for us

And thanking Him for special gifts this past week
Times with family
Lunch with a son on his birthday
Eating out together with family - a gift from my 91 year-old father
A relaxing Memorial Day with my husband exploring some local family history places
Taking care of sweet 2 month-old granddaughter
Our time at Taste of Omaha together on a beautiful day
Phone call with son in San Francisco
Special lunch together with friends after church
Celebrating two years of blogging here
Courage and strength to go through with a routine medical test that I had put off
And finding that all is well from the test
My husband, patient with me through my concerns
Stopping on our way home to purchase a new devotional I've been wanting (God Calling)
Sorrows and heartaches that pull us to run to Him, drawing us to His heart

Anticipation of all that He has for us as we continue with our Sabbatical/Time Off
Lodging lined up for our trip to New Brunswick and the New England states
Extra nights given to us for no charge - unexpected blessings

Thanking Him for the greatest Prize
As we give up, and follow - we receive Him

"You are willing to drink the cup that I drink of -
the wine of sorrow and disappointment ...
The self, the original man, shrivels up and dies
and upon the soul becomes stamped My image."
(God Calling)

(Counting 1000 Gifts in 2012 #476-505)


  1. Beautiful, sweet and refreshing gifts!

  2. I'm amazed at how the Lord is using this blogging fellowship in my life! We also focused on this verse Sunday at church & I keep thinking about your "listening" post. The Lord delights in us & gives us that same delight for each other! Wonderful! Love & prayers, in Jesus, Cynthia