What Does it Mean to Practically Take Up Your Cross?
What does it mean to “take up your cross” as a person in Franklin, TN? In other words, a person who is relatively speaking “well off”, doesn’t experience persecution, etc? Perhaps a seemingly unrelated follow up– does this life somehow prepare us or allow us to practice for the next?
Excerpt From The Answer
In Luke 9:23-26 we then read of His instruction for them and the cross. Following Christ will be difficult – especially for them, even to martyrdom. But for us, it seems clear we are to die to ourselves, which is hard at every level. We should not turn this into debasing, self-flagellation, but rather look at yourself first, self promotion, “all about me” attitude so prevalent in western thought. It would seem Christ first demands self denial?
It is daily. Seems clear our discipleship is an ongoing faithful obedience. So for Franklin, TN or any believer, are we faithfully obedient each day no matter our circumstances, victimhood, injustices, unfairness, or even self-righteousness? Romans 12:1-3 is a wonderful passage regarding being a living sacrifice. I’m sure many have said it but Chuck Swindoll via cassette said, “the problem with a living sacrifice is that it keeps crawling off the altar.” Daily. Applicationally, doesn’t this say, suffering, hardships, disappointments… no matter the “cause” need to be taken in stride?
In sum, discipleship seems to be for the few. While all believers should be disciples, most of us are not. We love the assurance of eternal security of the believer, but we shy away at best or ignore at worst, the daily, self-denial, “hating our lives” in contrast to loving Christ and following Him no matter what, and that means, personally carrying our cross. Carrying the cross in Jesus’ time, the Roman crucifixion process, paraded you through the crowds to your public humiliation and execution. Are we denying ourselves? Are we willing to be publicly humiliated and rejected by family and friends to say that we believe in Jesus and follow Him no matter what?
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