Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. Luke 9:23
I have heard this scripture many times. I have even heard many sermons that included encouragement of taking up my cross. The other day during my daily Bible reading time, it hit me. I really didn’t have the full knowledge of what it means to take up my cross. I finally examined what this simple phrase means. I believe that Jesus intends this command to be an action on our part. When I looked up the definition of the word “cross” as a verb, it means, path or to pass in a different direction.
Our daily path or actions must be rooted in and directed by God’s Word. I have heard my husband say many times, “You say you are saved, what are you saved from?” Is your life different than the world? Are your words different than the world? Do you think, talk, dress and act different than the world? When we take up our cross we are stepping out into the life that Jesus changed for us. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says we are new creatures and all things become new. We are different. This is not a one-day act but a life change, a path in a different direction.
Matthew chapter 19 tells us about a rich man that came up to Jesus asking how to get eternal life. He had kept the commandments and was a good person. Jesus answered him by telling him to sell his possessions and give to the poor. It was only when the rich man gave away his possessions that he would have treasure in heaven. The young man left sad because he had many possessions.
He wasn’t willing to take up the cross and take a different path. Are you? Is there anything in your life that you need to get rid of? I want to examine my life and be sure there isn’t anything of the world that I am still hanging on to today.
Once we have taken that action, Jesus says, “then come, follow me.” (Matthew 19:21)