Carry Your Cross
“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.”1
Today’s verse is well-known, and one which we have probably heard on several occasions. However, the Lord gave me an unexpected visual reminder! If you have been to Orange County, California, you may be familiar with the Ortega Hwy (SR-74) which connects Orange County to Riverside County through the Cleveland National Forest. We were driving through this highway a few days ago, enjoying the beautiful scenery, when all of a sudden, I saw a man carrying a large wooden cross, probably measuring a little taller than he was, on his shoulder! As I mentioned before, this road runs through the Cleveland National Forest, and while there are houses and other establishments along the way, there was nothing nearby when I saw this man. I am not sure where he was headed, where he came from, or the reason behind him carrying a literal cross, but I just felt the Lord reminding me of the importance of the verse above.
If you have received Jesus and believed in His name, you are a child of God (John 1:12). However, there is a difference between being saved as a son or daughter of God and being a disciple (follower). We receive salvation from our sins by trusting in Jesus, through faith, as our Lord and Savior. But to be a true disciple of Christ means to be a doer of the Word and not only a listener. It is following Christ’s example of surrender, sacrifice, and His obedience to God’s will even in the midst of suffering. It is dying to our pride and our own way and submitting to God’s authority in our lives.
Being a disciple of Christ is a daily decision to follow the Lord in complete surrender and serving Him faithfully as we serve others. It may be difficult but living as a follower of Christ comes with wonderful benefits not only for the present, but for eternity.
Suggested prayer: Dear God, I am yours. I surrender my heart, my will, and my mind. I choose to give up my own way and live in obedience to you. Take control of my life and use me for your glory. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Luke 9:23 (NLT).
Today’s Encounter was written by: Crystal B.
All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.