DAILY TAKE UP YOUR CROSS-

“The cross (stauros) was an upright stake driven in the ground to humiliate, shame, and execute people. The Romans made an art of crucifixion. The condemned had to carry the 110lb. cross beam on his shoulders to the place of execution (Luke 23:26), and it was affixed to the upright pole. Taking up one’s cross meant to carry the beam to the site of execution past a jeering mob. Jesus is speaking in strong rhetoric to make his point.”

Jesus is speaking spiritually to have the same attitude every day you wake up! The cross was not about self promotion or self affirmation it was an instrument of death! And Jesus calls us to adopt in the spiritual realm the same way. Paul said, “we die daily that you might live,” Death to self promotion, self-interests that others may benefit spiritually!

 No to self, yes to Jesus, what He says will be my intent and purpose to live. The cross was a way of execution that was brought into mankind way before Jesus lived. THE CROSS WAS A VERY GRAPHIC THING. A MAN CARRYING a wooden cross and been impaled to it. Jesus is saying, the cross speaks of COST. it may mean the cost of your life, suffering, belittled, ridiculed. The cross may not be physical today but the cross means your will is no longer “king.” Jesus “will” is KING for you. You live in submission to do His will. You have given your life, your rights, your all away to Him by faith and the life you now live is by faith in Him and for His purposes. He has exclusive rights to you! It means everything! A Life of  loving. willful sacrifice to Him and for Him! It costs you your very life to follow Me. It is not, “Jesus has a wonderful plan for your life, where every dream you want He is there to grant for you as come Jeanie in a bottle!”- He is speaking about the cost of following Him!

 “When Jesus said “Take up a cross,” they only thought of one thing: Horrible suffering, pain and death.  Jesus is saying, “This is how extreme your devotion has to be.  This is willingness to endure persecution.  This is willingness to endure hatred, hostility, rejection, reproach, shame, suffering even death.”  They knew exactly what He was talking about.  And be ready to do it every day.  Every day. “- John Mac Arthur.

 Loving Self Sacrifice is the new way of life. ” I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me….But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” -{Read Gal 2:20; 6:14}. For Paul he looked and made a calculation that the world system had nothing to offer him and for those who pursued the worlds system, values, they found no value in Paul. Paul was a Christ centered man which means a conscious choice of self sacrifice in order to be about Kingdom business. Misunderstood, ridiculed, hostility, no promotion in your job, mocked, laughed at, left out, these are all small prices but never the less painful because you have decided and daily take up your cross- death to self and yes to Jesus.

In dying CONTINUALLY TO SELF, we live. In LOVING Sacrifice we honor Him. Christ before self. Christ above all! Christ is Worthy!

Jesus is speaking about total commitment. Jesus does not want us accumulating things which are not used for His Kingdom, but which will one day burn up. His desire is we forfeit ourselves under His Control and live in loving sacrificial service to Him, if that means suffering and martyrdom for Him so be it! Some throughout the world do indeed lose their lives for allegiance to Him, others don’t.

But nevertheless the command to “take up your cross…” is a call to total commitment to Jesus Christ!

** Failing to deny yourself and take up your cross in order to obey Christ by preferring others is – a lost day!