Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple
must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”Luke 9:23
Deny myself? Pick up a cross, every single day? Yikes!
Over the years, the symbol of the cross has taken on such a heavy and distasteful connotation with some believers. To follow Jesus, we must pick up something heavy and lug it along after Him? That’s not too appealing. What happened to the idea of being set free in Christ? Freedom emotes a soothing visual picture, like a colorful and happy beach ball, carefree as it bounces along, light as a feather.
I see the cross as a beautiful and wonderful symbol of the Lord’s unfathomable and boundless love. The cross was (and is) the calling on the heart of the Son of God, played out in His painful, but faithful, walk to fulfill it. And to pick up our own cross and follow Him with it means, to me at least, to find the calling on each of our own lives, to dedicate our pursuit of it to our Creator, and to press on against all obstacles to fulfill our destiny.
Has He called you to teach? Then teach to the fullest ability inside you. Called to minister? Then volley all of your efforts into building your ministry according to His leading.
If you look at it that way, the cross we bear isn’t quite so heavy any more, is it? In fact, it can be counted as joy as we chase after the dreams He has planted in us, and as we seek to honor Him in all we do to gain ground toward that destiny.
If this speaks to you, will you pray with me?
Father, I can’t thank You enough for that day when You whispered in my ear what you had created me to accomplish and pursue. It hasn’t always been easy; the road has been paved with obstacles and challenges. But knowing that You are in this with me, that You are pleased, that You are glorified in my efforts, is better than any worldly reward. Grant me Your grace and enable me to honor you in everything I pursue. In Jesus' holy name. Amen.
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Sandra D. Bricker was an entertainment publicist in Los Angeles for 15+ years. She is now a best-selling, award-winning author of laugh-out-loud fiction for the inspirational market. As an ovarian cancer survivor, she gears time and effort toward raising awareness and funds for research, diagnostics and a cure. Her latest novel, Book #3 of 4 in the Another Emma Rae Creation series for Abingdon Press, is Always the Designer, Never the Bride. Sandie invites every reader to click the FOLLOW button on her newly-redesigned BLOG and contribute to the ongoing conversations.