Thursday, July 19, 2012

My Cross to Bear

Luke 9:22-24 HCSB

22   (Jesus) saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, be killed, and be raised the third day.”
23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. 24 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it.

The Lord has brought these scriptures to my heart this past week as I have been in prayer and discernment.

I see verse 23 as a Three-Step Process... to come with Jesus I must 1) deny myself 2) take up my cross daily and 3) follow Him.

This had led me to pray about what denying myself really means.  I thankfully have discerned it does not mean I can't have a fancy coffee drink every once in while.  I'm sure we all could come up with a different response but here's mine... denying myself means thinking of others before myself.  It means I should be seeking ways to show the love of Christ to other people, meeting their needs, being careful to not spend my resources selfishly and to be diligent in keeping my selfish human self from taking over.

I've heard the saying, "This is my cross to bear" throughout my life.  When it's been said, I've taken it as "this is my pain in the neck that I must bear the burden of" or "what a burden I must carry but I guess I will."  Again, speaking only from my own experience and thoughts, I don't want to carry these burdens.  For me, "take up my cross daily" means I give all my burdens to Christ to bear and I am to live each day as a witness of Christ and His love.  For me, the cross means forgiveness, grace, HOPE, eternity with Jesus... not burden, load, heavy, hard.  To "take up my cross daily" means I must seek each day to follow Christ.  To ask Him what He would have me do, forgive, extend grace and love and mercy just as Christ did when He himself was my sacrifice on the cross so that I wouldn't have to bear it anymore!  Praise, Jesus!!!  I am free, not burdened!

Follow Him... to follow someone, anyone, means I need to know them.  I need to know them personally and intimately so that I feel safe and secure following when I can't see what's ahead.  It means relinquishing control to Christ, trusting Him so that I can follow wherever He leads me.  Sometimes the road is dark and I can't see what is ahead.  Following means I do just that - put one foot in front of the other and follow!  It's not easy for me.  I have trust issues.  I have control issues.  I have issues!  Following means total surrender.  No turning back.  It means doing what Jesus does.  What He did while He was here and being His hands and feet by obeying.  

At Women's Retreat several years ago, I remember this verse and have gone to it many times: "We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you. ”  2 Chron. 20:12b

While this is specifically telling us of King Jehoshaphat and the battle (issue) he was having, I love this example of being in over our heads, not having a clue how to proceed and just crying out to God to lead.  What I love more, is seeing God do just that!!!  I re-read chapter 20 several times a year because it seems I find myself in similar situations and I relate to King Jehoshaphat's distress and his following God.

I am daily striving to deny myself, take up my cross and follow Him.  Doing so yields awesome results and I am so excited that He lets me in on the fun and excitement of His work.
I have some exciting news to share with you!  Stay tuned...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you so much for taking the time to comment on my blog! I may not reply to each one but know that I read each and every comment.

May God Bless You!