#DailyDevotion Pick Up Your Cross & Follow Jesus
Matt. 1624Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If you want to follow Me, deny yourself, take up your cross, and come with Me. 25If you want to save your soul, you will lose it. But if you will lose your soul for Me, you will find it. 26What good will it do you to win the whole world and lose your soul? Or what would you give to buy back your soul? 27The Son of Man is going to come with His angels in His Father’s glory, and then He will give each one according to what he has done. 28I tell you the truth, there are some standing here who will never taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”
Well, wait Jesus. You want me to do what? Deny myself? Take up my cross? That is what is means to be your disciple and follow you? Well, the isn’t what a lot of people think of when they sign up for Christianity. It certainly isn’t the message we hear often on TV and radio and isn’t on any of the top ten Christian books.
Jesus is certainly preparing his disciples for what is to come after he himself is crucified, risen and ascended into heaven. They can expect persecution for the sake of Jesus’ name. They can expect to be jailed, beaten and hunted down like criminals. They can be expected to suffer loss of property, esteem and honor. They can be expected to be tortured and executed on account of his name. It was that way for the early Church and it has been that way for Christians and in many places and times during our wait for Christ to return.
To deny oneself, to take up your cross even in the best of times and places for Christians is to think of others as more honorable than oneself. It is to sacrifice your time and money to help those in need. It is to have mercy on those who do not deserve it. It is to forgive people to have sinned against you and hurt you. It is to show your enemies, the poor, the oppressed, and anyone else who society and you don’t deserve it the same mercy, kindness and love God has shown you in Christ Jesus.
We have a warning. A very strict warning is given to us, if we are unwilling to suffer loss for the sake of the name of Christ, we will not inherit eternal life. We must be willing and carryout in our lives this loss and cross for the sake of the name of Jesus. To be unwilling to suffer loss and bear the crosses given us to bear is to show we do not believe in the promise Christ has given us for the world to come. What is this world and all of its trappings? It is wasting away, a transitory treasure. What is your life here? It too will end in death and then where will be your honor, wealth and life?
Jesus is coming again with his holy angels to judge the world as it was revealed in Daniel seven. He will give to each one according to his deeds. Will you have borne the cross trusting in Jesus or did instead scorn the name of Jesus to live at ease? Was your faith in Jesus which is rewarded with eternal life in his kingdom or was it in someone or something else? Jesus gave up his life on the cross so you can have eternal life. Accept the crosses and losses of this life for his sake and enter into the eternal home and rewards he offers to you.
Heavenly Father, grant us such faith in your Son Jesus Christ, that as the moment requires it of us we may suffer loss, bear our crosses and even death so at his revelation we may live and reign with him in his kingdom. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.