Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Take Up Your Cross

Luke 9:23
And he said to all, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me."

Here, Jesus is talking to people who were wanting to be His followers. He's saying that in order to follow Him you must take up your cross. 

What does that mean exactly? I don't have a cross that I have to pick up every day and tote around with me.  Do I?

You may be very familiar with this passage, but if you aren't I can see how this verse would be easy to skim over because it doesn't exactly look like he's talking to us, but oh He so is
This verse is pretty stinking deep but I'm just going to skim the surface here. 

Ephesians 4:22-24(ESV) 

Commands us to put aside our former way of life.

Explains things that belong to the former way of life:
sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions (arguing, dissputes) and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.

  • Reflect on that for just a moment. Take an inventory of your heart.
 If you're like me, that's a little bit of an, "ouch".

  • Now Reflect on these. Where do these stand on your heart barometer?
Explains what a life surrendered to Christ looks like:

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

So when Jesus says:
"If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me."

 For us to daily follow Him, it Requires Dying to self. It is laying down of our immediate desires and testing them against the fruit of the spirit. Surrendering our anger, fears, sin nature and putting on Christ's Righteousness.  This isn't something where I say a prayer of salvation and "BAM" my life looks like Christ.

No, it's like God has a chisel and He pries at them to break them loose in our heart. He points to them as areas we need to surrender. We struggle against some sins more than others.  But when Christ says to take  up our cross daily, He means it. It is a daily surrender. If we do not lay them down daily they slowly sneak back in. 

Kinda like taking an anti-biotic and quitting them because you feel better, however you didn't realize the infection was still lingering, only to reboot and come back stronger.

It's saying No to workplace gossip. It's saying No to allowing yourself to fantasize about unholy things. It's saying No to pride, jealousy, hatred, bitterness, Negativity

It's saying No to fears of rejection and witnessing. We are to witness because we're commanded to not because it's easy. The more we step out of our comfort zone the more we are dependant on the Lord taking the reigns in our life.  

"God doesn't call us to be comfortable. He calls us to trust Him so completely that we are unafraid." -Lisa Phelps

God is bigger than our biggest fears and until we lay our fears and ourselves aside in order to follow Him completely, we will Never come to grips with just how Big HE is!

Whoever does not take up his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.

Luke 14:28, goes on to tell us to "Count the Cost of Discipleship". Are you in or out.  Don't say you're in if your life is still reflecting you.

Gal. 5:1
 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.


  1. Melissa,
    I am visiting your blog for the first time. I love what you wrote in your profile! Outer beauty is so fleeting, I agree. At 59, I am really wanting to make myself beautiful with the adornment of a gentle and quiet spirit. It takes a lifetime to attain in any measure :)Thanks for the encouragement today. I pray this finds you well!

  2. Thank you Jacqueline. I KNOW! I so desire to have a Godly temperance, and a gentle, quiet spirit. My nature is the complete opposite, so I am praying for the Lord to do an Extreme Makeover in my life :) thank you for your encouragment. :)

  3. I just found this Wednesday link-up and added #6. How do we do this extreme makeover when our inclination is not quiet and gentle? Phil 4:8 is such a help, but it doesn't always come to mind. "He will keep in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Him" really draws me to stay in the Word. Stand firm!!