And He said to all, if any person wills to come after me, let him deny himself [disown himself, forget, lose sight of himself and his own interests, refuse and give up himself] and take up his cross daily and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and if need be, in dying also]
For whoever would preserve his life and save it will lose and destroy it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he will preserve and save it [from the penalty of death]
For what does it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and ruins or forfeits [loses] himself?
The battle! Self verses following Jesus. Two voices that compete for the right to rule over the body.
The one eternal, true, living, Almighty God.........
It should be no contest, but I still sometimes feel as though I need to take the reins. To run the show, so to speak. After all, God has more important things to do than to run my life....right?
Funny part is that God will call to me to not try and take control.
If I so desire, I can. That free will can really be a bummer at times, can't it?
To possess that kind of power is spooky, scary and dangerous.
That I can step away from God and take control of my own life (or as TV evangelists say...."Your Destiny).
"Hey BUB! When I take control of my life and kick God out of the picture.....I don't think this is a good behavior." After all, the best I could ever hope for is to wind up in the ditch, crying out for "Jesus-Towing Service" to come and haul my sorry self out and put me back on the road.
The cross I am called to pick up and carry is a reminder daily of a price that was paid (willingly I might add) by Jesus for me.
A price that puts me in right standing with God.
That is why the cross is a reminder.
That is why I am called to take up "MY" cross.
My own personal cross.
To drive home the point that I am a new creation and it was the cross of Christ that made me such. Nothing that I did in my own effort or strength.
It is the cross of Christ that reminds me daily of the glory that comes with being saved. It was at the cross of Christ that I bowed my knee and heart and made Him Lord of my life.
It was at the cross of Christ that I made the decision, as the Holy Spirit revealed my heart, to live here.
To always keep the shadow of the cross over me to remind me of what is at stake.
The cross is not an event, but rather a place. The cross is a place not bound by geographical boundaries or marked out by the surveying of humanity. The cross of Christ is found in the hearts of those who have given themselves to God. It is as present and real as the day Jesus stretched out his back on that rough wood. Oh, the real cross has long since disappeared, but the man who bore it, and the blood that poured out upon it is still alive to this day. And it was that blood that was spilled that cries out to all humanity...."Come..there is life and there is freedom!" How could you not love this? How could you embrace darkness and reject this incredible gift of relationship and eternal life? I do love that old cross.
At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light
and the burdens of my heart rolled away
it was there by faith
I received my sight
and now I am happy all the day....
God on you....