And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me
My first thought: I have the privilege of taking my cross and following Jesus. The cross means death. To take one’s cross doesn’t mean to tolerate unpleasant things in life. I hear that a lot. Someone says, “I have red hair, it’s my cross to bear.” (Or some statement like that.) No! My cross is death to myself and living for the Lord. It means dying to my own ambitions and desires. It means living with pain and death to live to God! I needed that reminder today!
To take the cross and follow Christ means to live in such devoted abandonment to Him that even death itself is not too high a price to pay. Not all disciples are required to lay down their lives for the Lord, but all are called on to value Him so highly that they do not count their lives precious to themselves. (William MacDonald )
After all, He laid down His life for me! How can I do less? Love it! What a privilege!
Secondly, when I live in such a way, I really find life! Taking one’s cross and dying sounds pretty horrific, but it is the means by which we really live! I can’t say it better than this:
The temptation is to hug one's life by trying to avoid the pain and loss of a life of total commitment. But this is the greatest waste of a life—to spend it in the gratification of self. The greatest use of a life is to spend it in the service of Christ. The person who loses his life in devotedness to Him will find it in its true fullness. (W MD)
I don’t want to hug my life and waste it. I want the supreme joy of serving Him and finding life!
Measure thy life by loss instead of gain;
More than anything I would like to encourage you in your walk with God!