“Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” Matthew 16:24, NKJV.
Lately, I can say that I have not felt like getting up in the morning to study and pray. Yet, with the decision before me to seek Him or not each day, what God has begun to spring up within my heart is that I have to take up my cross and follow Christ.
It is a decision as a believer you must daily make. Your day and your year depends on it. Experiencing the will of God for your life, your family, provision and blessings depend on it. Taking up your cross is when you go before Him, and truly surrender your will and your plans, for His will and His plans. It is the place where you give up your weakness and receive His strength. The cross is the place where you give up your way to handle your situation, and let Him be Lord over it, and allow Him to direct you on what to do about your situation.
You can be a believer and decide not to take up your cross. Yet, you will wonder why you aren’t experiencing the benefits and reward from the relationship with the Lord–it is because you truly aren’t allowing Him to be Lord in your life. It is humbling and it’s where the rubber meets the road, but Jesus says if any man will come after him, he must deny himself (say no to himself), take up his own cross, and follow him. Yet, I have found my greatest life and have become a better man then I’ve ever been through the cross–and you will too.
Jesus came to give us life and life more abundantly (John 10:10). The cross isn’t your course to die, Jesus did that for you. It is rather your course to mightily live. You’ll see Jesus lead you into great change and great blessings in your life, only discovered on the other side of your cross.
Prayer: Father, thank You for Your word. I’m taking up my cross today. Here is my will and here are my plans, and I receive Yours. Here is my weakness and I receive Your strength. I say yes to You today. Help me each day to humbly deny myself and follow Jesus. You are the Good Shepherd of my life. I will put all my trust in You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Study: John 10:10, Psalm 23