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Friday, April 6, 2012

Take Up Your Cross

I've been trying to figure out exactly what it means when Jesus says, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me."  Luke 9:23 (NIV).  I've been really digging into the meaning of this ever since I read Not a Fan.
I even wrote a second blog post about my journey toward becoming a follower:

But, what does it mean to "take up our cross daily?"  Does it mean we have to endure suffering:  Maybe, but not necessarily.  It doesn't mean you have to sit back and take all the junk the world wants to throw your way. It is less about suffering through the "trials of life" and more about dying to self.  Yes, Jesus suffered much and it culminated with His death on the cross.  The cross was about death.  I believe when we are told to "take up your cross," we are being told to be willing to die to self daily.  Our lives should not be about our selfish needs and what we want or think.  Our lives should be about what He wants for us.  In order to do this daily, we need to be in communication with God daily through Bible reading and prayer.  We won't know what direction He wants us to go if we don't talk to Him (or better yet, let him drive)

"Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead.  You're not in the driver's seat--I am.  Don't run from suffering; embrace it.  Follow me and I'll show you how.  Self-help is no help at all.  Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self.  What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the true you?"  Luke 9:23-25 (Message)

As scary as it is to give up the illusion of control, that it what we are called to do.  If we let God in control of our lives, He will take us places we could never imagine.  Let's be willing to take up our cross and go on the adventure of our lives.

YouTube video by Alistair Begg

"In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world."  John 16:33 (NIV)

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