Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, 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 NLT
Back in Jesus day the illustration of taking up one’s cross was real because the Romans had killed many Galileans that way. For us today it means something different. It means for us to live to serve God. This can be a hard lesson for many of us, for we love life and like it just the way it is. It doesn’t mean we must strip ourselves of all things and be at God’s beck and call. It does mean, however, that we are to be attuned to His will and how He desires to use us. Are we prepared to pick up our cross of selflessness and follow Christ wherever He may lead?
It is a sad reality that many so-called believers see their relationship with the Father as a one-way street, as in what’s in it for me, when the way we need to see it is what can I do for the Lord. Too many churches build lavish cathedrals in the name of Christ; yet in the process anesthetize their congregations to the realities of living for Jesus. Has our faith become too cushy?
I know I frequently wonder if I measure up to what God sees in me. I know for a fact that I’m not all I could be. We all doubt and worry and procrastinate our way thru life. We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t struggle with these things. Just because we’re redeemed doesn’t mean our life will suddenly become problem free. Life is full of lessons to be learned each day. We need to know that if we are honestly wondering if we measure up to God’s standard then we probably do. It’s those who don’t consider their own shortcomings who are the ones that may not be measuring up. Giving up our life for the sake of Christ simply means we should spend our lives serving God and others. We need to hone our spiritual hearing so the Spirit can lead us where God has chosen to use us. Life is hard; Jesus doesn’t make it easy, but He does go with us on our journey. (Genesis 28:15; Joshua 1:9) Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
Resource: Life Application Study Bible New Living Translation, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2012.