Then Jesus said to his disciples,
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny
themselves and take up their cross
and follow me…” Matthew 16:24

Jesus’ first call to those interested in Him was “Come and see!” (John 1:39).
As His disciples spent more time with
Him, Jesus’ call became more demanding
and required more

Here He calls those who would be His disciples to make the
ultimate sacrifice
and “Come and die!”

Jesus was the last person
Sundar Singh was looking for as a late teenager in
India at the turn of the
20th Century. After all, Jesus was the “foreign god”
of the Christian
teachers at his school. A zealous Sikh, Sundar had publicly
torn up a portion
of the Bible to protest its claims. One night as he prayed
he became
conscious of a light shining in the room. He looked outside to make
sure it
was not someone shining a light. Gradually the light took the form of
a globe
of fire and in it he saw the face of Jesus. Sundar threw himself on
ground and surrendered His life to Jesus.

The following months proved to
be very difficult for Sundar and his family.
Becoming a follower of Christ
was not taken lightly by his family nor his
community. He was excommunicated. He cut his hair, a gesture that did not make
things any easier with his
family who were convinced he had renounced his Sikh

A month
after he was baptized in the year 1905, he took the vow of a sadhu. He
away his meagre possessions, put on a saffron robe and became a
wandering man of God. Among Christians the world over, this
barefoot Sadhu
was later called the “apostle of the bleeding feet” because the
soles of his
feet were often covered in bloody blisters. The life of a sadhu
is hard and
entirely dependent on God. Sadhu Sundar Singh’s needs were met
through the kindness of people he met wherever he went.

Sundar Singh is
credited as the first missionary to cross the Himalayan
Mountains to take the
gospel to Nepal and Tibet. At thirty-six-years-of-age he
made his last trip
over the mountains. He never returned and is assumed to
have been a martyr
for Jesus.

In his diary left behind he had written, “It is easy to die
for Christ. It is
hard to live for Him. Dying takes only a few minutes—or at
worst an hour or
two—but to live for Christ means to die daily to

RESPONSE: Today I will do the “hard” thing: die to myself and
live for Jesus
and others who need His love.

PRAYER: Help me Lord to
live worthy of the calling as Your disciple. Show me
the cross You want me to
carry today.

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