Mark 8:34-Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
Daily, we must deny our flesh it's selfish desires. We must must view our death to these things as an act of our Love and obedience to God. God wants evidence in our lives of our love for Him. Not for His purpose, but for our good and for His glory! The evidence of God’s love in our lives is the denial of those things that contradict the Word of God.
Apostle Paul followed Christ with a zeal and passion after his Damascus road experience. This is what he is telling us to do in 1 Corinthians 11:1- Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. The example that he set on earth is his drive, determination, will to do God’s will even in suffering, His love for God, His passion for souls. This is the example that we are to follow in our pursuit for Christ. In other words, follow God with all our being!
Who are you following? Christ is calling those that confess to believe in Him, follow Him. Too many so called Christians who claim to be following Christ, only follows Him on a Sundays, holidays or when trouble comes. Other than those few times of the year, they are following the ways of the world.
My question to all of us on today is “Who are we following”? Or, should I say “who are we willing to follow”?
We are exhorted in Romans 12:2 – And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
When we follow Christ, we are taking the path He took! Yes, that path includes the pain and suffering hurt, rejection, denial, persecution, envy, hate, jealousy, etc.All these things are necessary to push us to spiritual growth but they are rewarding in strengthening us spiritually and strengthening our relationship with God the Father.
To follow man and the ways of this world comes with temporary rewards and that is all you will get.
Matthew 6:1 – “Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
God is calling those who are willing to daily take up their cross and follow the Him, regardless of the cost. God is not calling those who want a crown without a cross. Christ had to bare to the cross to pay for our sins! Must Jesus bare the cross alone and wall the world go free? NO!There is a price to pay in following Christ! No cross, No crown!
Matthew 6:24 – No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
When we have picked up our cross and follow Christ to the best of our ability with help from the Holy Spirit, we too would be able to speak these faith filled words that Apostle Paul spoke at the end of his christian journey on this side and the entrance to his eternal hope on the other side. Paul says in 2 Timothy 4:7-9 – I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:Now there is in store for me(A) the crown of righteousness,(B) which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day(C)—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
Have you picked up your cross? If you want to be a disciple of Christ, you must deny your selfish ways, pick up your cross and follow Christ.
Jesus said in Matthew 10:38 - Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
Who are you following? Christ commands that we pick up our cross and follow Him!
God bless and do tell the Lord thank you for giving you sense enough to know that your life on this side is temporary and only what you do for and with Christ will last!
I love you all with the love of Christ!