Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. Matt 16:24
All my life I still have found, And I will forget it never; Every sorrow hath its bound, And no cross endures forever. All things else have but their day, God’s love only lasts for aye. P. GERHARDT.
If you are going to be a disciple of Christ, you have to live a life of self denial and take up your cross each and everyday. Let me hit a few points about the cross.
- It involves self denial. – We have to die to our wants and desires BEFORE we go to the cross. Christ made that decision the night before in the garden. “Not my will, but thine be done.” When we got saved we gave up our “rights” for His rights to our life. We must deny self.
- It is voluntary. – Christ, of His own free will went to the cross. He laid down His life. No one made him. We have to first make a conscience decision we are going to take up the cross. He bought us with the price of his own blood. However, even though he bought us, we still have a free will. Some unfortunately do not give Christ the proper place in their lives.
- It is personal. – It says ‘his’ cross. We each have very different things that we have to die to. They change throughout life as we grow as Christians. If it is our cross, it is probably close at hand. There is something the Lord wants to kill in your life today (pride, envy, lust, dreams, desires, plans for your life, anything to do with ME). It is a personal cross.
- It involves following. – We can’t just give up or die to something. We must then DO what our Lord wants . We have to replace our desires and wants for our life with His desires. We have to obey and then follow. Dying to self is not enough.
- It is eventually over. – As Gerhardt says, no cross endures forever. Joy comes in the morning. Even if a cross lasts a lifetime, it is still over at some point. There is a day of rest for the saints of God to look forward to.