Jesus Christ made the statement of “ Taking up ones cross” in two different verses the first being found in “ Matthew 10:37-39 “ Whoever loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me, an whoever loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. v38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me. v39 “ Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” ESV
These verses are at the heart of what love and loving Jesus Christ is all about. It is the essence of truth in where God needs to be placed in your life. God is the creator, the supreme power and source of everything that you are and have become. With God at the center of your life you will reach levels of Love, Peace and Joy you have never known. In fact, when you truly accept and receive Christ Jesus into your life you will come to love the people closest to you even more.
Many of us who have sons/daughters, sisters/brothers, mothers/fathers know this to be a hard saying to totally understand how we are to love God more than we love our families. God’s Divine Love for us is beyond human understanding and can be summed up with these powerful words of truth as spoken by Jesus.
John 3:16 “ God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
John 15:13 “ Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”
My friends, make no mistake about it - We(I,you) are not our own person – We belong to God who has created us, fashioned us and molded us into the person that we(you,I) are today. God poured out His wrath on His righteous Son for the penalty of death that rightfully belongs to us as sinners in the flesh so that we could be forgiven and live through Him in the Spirit. Romans 8:10 “ If Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
God wants all of us (you,I) not just a part of us(I,you). Taking up one’s cross means we completely submit to God’s loving will and to His loving ways in faithful obedience. We are to let go of self-control and give up our ways and our desires that this world offers in favor of God’s desires on how best to live our lives.
We must also be mindful of the prayer Jesus taught His disciples to pray as found in Matthew 6:10 “ Your(Thy) kingdom come. Your(Thy) will be done on earth as it is in heaven. It is God’s will which is to be done – not yours – not mine.
“Taking up one’s cross” is again spoken by Christ in Matthew 16:24 “ If anyone would come after Me. let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. v25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” ESV
To help us grow stronger in our faith and to better understand what Jesus means to “take up one’s cross” is to turn to what the Apostle Paul speaks to us in Ephesians 2:4 “ But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ( by grace you have been saved.)” also in v8 “ For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that is not of yourselves; it is a gift of God.
The precious gifts of faith and grace are not just a one-time act but a way of life. We must come to the cross daily to be forever mindful of who God is and what He has done and continues to do for us.
Let me leave you with two more verses to ponder and think about as you take up your cross and walk with Christ this week.
Jesus Christ said in John 6:63 “ It is the Spirit who gives life, the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit and they are life.”
The Apostle Paul said in Galatians 2:20 “ I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loves me and gave Himself for me.”
Start today – Don’t delay and change your life - Let the power of God’s words speak to you and be filled with a peace and joy beyond measure.
Clicking blog at the top of the page are for past blog posts. Find additional inspiration and encouragement found in the books “Finding Calm in the Storm of Everyday Living” or “Heart and Soul” either going to Amazon directly or hitting the home page of the store and scrolling down to books.