"When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, 'Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.' " —Mark 8:34
Sometimes, we will say, "We all have our crosses to bear. My cross is my supervisor at work," or "My cross is this health problem," or "My cross is this relative." But I think we have lost the meaning of the cross.
If you were living in first-century Jerusalem and saw someone surrounded by Roman guards and carrying a cross down the street, there would be no question in your mind where that person was going. You would know that he was about to be taken outside of the city, laid on the cross, and crucified.
Someone carrying a cross was someone who was about to die. So when Jesus said, "Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me," His disciples would have understood what He meant.
Taking up the cross speaks of dying to ourselves and wanting God's will more than our own. It does not mean that your life is ruined when you decide to walk with God.
What it does mean is that you now will have life and have it more abundantly as Jesus promised, because you want God's will more than your own. Jesus said, "Whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it" (Mark 8:35).
Are you taking up the cross and following Jesus? Bearing the cross will affect and influence every aspect of your life. The result will be life as it was meant to be lived: in the perfect will of God.
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