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Have You Taken Up Your Cross?

A grey picture of just a cross. The words to Matthew 10:38-39 NKJV, "And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it."
by Beeda Speis for Peace in the Stillness

Questions:
Do family, friends, and acquaintances know you’re a Christian?
Do acquaintances or strangers know you’re a Christian?
Does your love for Jesus cause division within your family?
Have you taken up your cross, died to yourself, and been resurrected to a life with God?

This is a powerful and convicting passage of Scripture; one that I believe is important to meditate on and pray about.

Charles Spurgeon wrote: “Bearing the cross, we are to follow after Jesus: to bear a cross without following Christ is a poor affair. A Christian who shuns the cross is no Christian; but a crossbearer who does not follow Jesus equally misses the mark.”

In present-day U.S. we don’t often speak of things that convict us or make us (or others) feel uncomfortable. I believe this is one of the great crimes of our century and why our society has deteriorated to its current state. Jesus didn’t worry about upsetting people with the truth. They needed to hear it.

David Guzik wrote: “This is the first mention of the cross in Matthew’s Gospel, and it is not directly associated with Jesus’ own crucifixion. Such an extreme statement – likening discipleship with the horror of crucifixion, something too terrible to be mentioned in polite company – must have jarred the disciples.”

Take up your cross. Be Christlike. Make sure everyone you meet knows that you are a Christ-follower. If you accomplish this, then truly you are putting God first.

Bible Verse of the Day

“Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.
“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.

Matthew 10:32-39 NKJV

Prayer

Father, please shine Your light through each of us and use us to show the world Your love and compassion. Help us be Christlike and proper image-bearers so that we may show unbelievers what it truly means to be forgiven and set free from sin. Use us to bring them into Your loving arms, Father. If any of us have not taken up our cross, please guide us. Show us the way, Father. In Jesus’ most precious name, we pray. Amen.

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