“Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me.”
Luke 9:23 NLT
I love my church. County Line Church of God is grounded in the Bible and clearly wanting to bring people to a relationship with Jesus. Around 40 people gave their lives to Christ last weekend. Pastor Stu pointed out something I had never thought of about this verse. The disciples, when they heard these words, would have had a completely different view than we do. Jesus hadn't died on the cross yet, so they would not have that vision of giving your life for others. They would have viewed the cross as a tool of submission to the Roman Empire. Taking up your cross would mean submitting your life to Christ and truly devoting yourself DAILY to his mission.
I have to give up my own selfish ambition. I have to give up control. My life needs to focus on Jesus, not money, not recognition, not my own plans. Following Jesus means carrying my part of the load in spreading the gospel message. I can't sit by and watch others do it. When I deny myself, I give room for Jesus and the eternal blessings that come with service to him.
Dear Lord, thank you for my church, the wonderful worship, and the messages I receive. I know I need to take up my cross and follow you. I know what that looks like and I pledge my life to that purpose. I praise you for the gift of salvation and the life you have placed before me. I love you and want to serve you in all that I do. Amen!