This is a recent study I shared with my gathering of men from around the world (via Zoom). It speaks to the day in which we live wherein so many are following ideologies and “isms” that have absolutely NO eternal value.
Hope you enjoy and are blessed!
“Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Jesus speaking in Mark 8:34-36).
Taking Up Your Cross: what Jesus didn’t mean
Many people interpret “cross” as some burden they must carry in their personal lives: an illness, a bad relationship, a thankless job, a physical illness. Such an interpretation is not what Jesus meant when He said, “Take up your cross and follow Me.”
What did Jesus mean?
In Jesus’ day, the Romans forced convicted criminals to carry their own instruments of execution, crosses, to the place of their crucifixion.
“Take up your cross and follow Me” is a call to absolutely surrender to God’s will.
But practically, how do we do this?
We all have responsibilities, demands, and even delights. But for all intents and purposes, how do we really live this Christian life?
A wonderful template for living like a genuine Follower of Jesus is found in Romans 12:9-17.
Take some time to meditate on this passage; each verse speaks volumes. As you do, ask yourself if you’re practicing each principle. If not, why? Is there some personal repentance that needs to take place? I would also highly encourage you to pray for God’s Holy Spirit to fill you is such a way that you are indeed able to walk in each of these wonderful attributes.
– Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good (v. 9).
– Be affectionate to one another with brotherly love, give preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord (v. 10, 11).
– Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, continue steadfastly in prayer (v. 12).
– Distribute to the needs of the saints, be given to hospitality (v. 13).
– Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse (v. 14).
– Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep (v. 15).
– Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion (v. 16).
– Repay no one evil for evil (v. 17).