"Take up your cross and follow me"
This command of the Lord Jesus Christ remains the unheeded challenge of so many Christians. ‘Taking up a cross’ is rather well defined in the book of Revelation – “for they loved not their lives even unto death” (12.11).
The example has been set by the Lord Himself. He surrendered His will to the will of God. His life was not for Himself, but for others and if that meant death for the sake of God’s purpose, the ultimate sacrifice was paid. So the one who would follow Him, will work by the same rule.
How much of our life, is spent ‘loving our lives’. It has even become popular to say ‘I love living’ or ‘I love life’. This ‘me-ism’ ignores the command of the Lord Jesus, and life is all about what I can get out of this life. To so many Eternity seems nonexistent, and commitment to a rejected master is ignored if it involves sacrifice. So much so, that Christianity is promoted for what people can get out of it in this life. For sure the principles of Christ bring great blessing now eg holiness and love, but reading His word gives a very real emphasis on the greater reality of God’s purposes for His people in the time of the resurrection and restoration of all things. Hebrews chapter 11 presents the example of many who in life ‘followed’ the call of God, with the focus on the life to come.
The call of the Lord was – “Come follow Me” – that meant the surrender of all, to then be associated with a rejected leader whose commitment was ‘to do the Father’s will’. He saw eternal values as more important than the present needs. On this basis, many around the world are choosing to die for Christ, rather than deny Him. ( It has been reported that on average,a christian dies for Christ every six minutes!)
May I ask that you pray for me, that true discipleship may yet be fulfilled in me, and in you.