I would like to look with you at the value of a great exchange or trade we should make every day. It’s the one in which Jesus invites us to trade our own ambitions and desires to follow Him with a cross of obedience on our backs. How is that for an invitation? In Luke 9:23 (NLT), Jesus said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross daily, and follow me.”
How are any of us able to do this? Of course, we are not able. We need God’s help. He empowers us to make the exchange. He helps us, by His Spirit, to trade our natural human desires to please our flesh, for the gift of His supernaturally endued power and ability. With these gifts, we can go through our days, carrying the cross of our commitment to Him with good success. It is a daily trade well worth making. Paul describes this trading process in Ephesians Chapter 4, Verses 22 and 24. He writes, “that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man… and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” Paul uses the imagery of changing a garment. It is a divine exchange – It is a trade you and I can make every day. As we do, we will wear its results with good success. If you are like me, you are comfortable in the clothing you have been wearing for a long time. I love to buy new clothes, but most of the time I dress in what is a bit worn and comfortable. We can be the same with old habits and may not be willing to change, even when God asks us to do so. I’m Dr. Bob. Reflect on this. Maybe it’s time for a new garment – one of sacrifice and hey, why not make it a garment of praise?