A large crowd was following Jesus. He turned around and said to them, "If you want to be my disciple, you must, by comparison, hate everyone else — your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters — yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple."
— Luke 14:25-27 NLT
To receive the gift of salvation is the greatest blessing any of us could receive. However, such a great blessing also comes at a high cost. Jesus died to give us this gift. To share in the new life of salvation, he calls on us to join him in his death, burial, and resurrection. When we die with Christ in baptism, we are also putting to death the old selfish person of sin and offering ourselves to God.  Jesus becomes our highest love and greatest priority. We serve him first and trust that he will bless us with what we need. Jesus and his Kingdom become our highest passion.
Almighty God, you are worthy of all worship and praise. You worked through history to fulfill your promise. Time after time, you saved your rebellious children and brought them back to you. You preserved the people of your name and through them gave us the gift of your Son. Jesus, you gave us the ultimate sacrifice; you gave your life for our sins so we could share in your Father's glory. So today, dear Father, more than I have ever been able to do before, I offer myself — my heart, soul, mind, and strength — to live for you. I willingly count all my past glories as refuse in comparison to knowing your grace. I thank you, dear Father, in the name of Jesus. Amen.