"And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me" Luke 9:23
Being selfless before God is required of us to become true disciples of Christ. It is so comforting to know that according to Romans 8:31 "If God be for us, who can be against us." That's nobody or anything in this world or beyond. We serve an awesome God, who deserves all our praise and love.
The cross is a cherished symbol of atonement, forgiveness, grace and love -but in Jesus day, the cross represented nothing but torturous death. The Romans forced convicted criminals to carry their own crosses to the place of crucifixion, bearing a cross meant carrying their own execution device while facing ridicule along the way to death. Following our Lord Jesus is easy when everything is running smoothly in our lives; true commitment to Him is revealed during our individual trials. Jesus assured us that trials will come to His follower's (John 16:33) "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." In becoming disciples of Christ Jesus there must be a sacrifice of our own selfish will to follow Jesus and take up our cross daily. In counting the cost of our commitment to Christ it should be understood this equates to maybe giving up hopes, dreams, possessions even our very life if need be for the cause of Christ. We are admonished in (Luke 14:27) "And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple." Only if we are willing to take up our cross may we be called His disciple.
The gift of Life in Christ (Matthew 16: 25-26) "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” If we are ready and willing to take up our cross knowing you may lose some friends, alienate your family, lose your job or in some places in this world, lose your life then these consequences are a reality.
Taking up our cross daily allows us to follow the Lord by imitating His life and obeying His commands. To take up the cross means to deny selfish desires of using our resources of time and money our own way, and choosing our own direction in life. Following Christ may seem costly now, but in the long run (we're talking eternity here), it is well worth any pain and effort. In this present life we find ourselves in a position to protect our safety, health and comfort, however in taking up your cross you may well find yourself in unsafe, unhealthy, and uncomfortable places. We may face death but we don't fear because we know Jesus will raise us up to eternal life. Remember to serve God and His people, doing His perfect will in your life.

Bro. Smith

   April 2019   
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