If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. (Matthew 16:24 NRSV)

How many of you have ever flipped a coin to decide something? For instance, you want to watch one television show, and a family member wants to watch another television show, so you flipped a coin to see who would get to watch what. That's a fun way of making a decision isn't it?

Hundreds and hundreds of years ago, the people of Rome used to make all their decisions like that. If they were going to buy a house, or get married, or move to another country, they made that important decision by flipping a coin. The Roman coins had a picture of the famous emperor Julius Caesar on them. The Roman people used to think that if they flipped a coin, and it turned up heads, then they were making the right decision. Now that seems like a pretty stupid way to make a really important decision.

Today we are going to talk about a very important decision that Jesus wants us to make. When Jesus went out preaching to the people, He challenged them to forget about their lives and to follow Him. Nothing is more important than following Jesus; not jobs, not money, not friends, not family. If we make the decision to follow Jesus, then that means we will try to act like Jesus. We will love other people and be nice to other people. We will tell others about God's love. Sometimes it is not easy to follow Jesus; sometimes we don't feel like being nice, and sometimes it seems fun to do what we know is wrong. That's why God doesn't want us to just flip a coin to decide whether to follow Him. This is something we really need to think about everyday in order to truly honor God's way of living.

Dear God, help me to wisely decide to follow you everyday. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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