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Jesus Christ » Jesus Carrying Cross

Your Cross

In a Men's Breakfast I am involved in with our church we have been looking at a book called "Risk" by Kenny Luck who is the Men's Pastor at Saddleback Church. Now I haven't personally read the book cover to cover, but the conversation that has stemmed from it has stayed with me a lot. I would suggest this book if you are looking for something to really challenge you like it has me. Here is what has been with me the last three weeks:

Luke 9:23-27 NASB "If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. But I say to you truthfully, there are some of those standing here who shall not taste death until they see the kingdom of God."


"Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You're not in the driver's seat - I AM. Don't run from suffering, embrace it. Follow me and I'll show you how. Self help is no help at all. Self sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? If any of you is embarrassed with me and the way I'm leading you, know that the Son of Man will be far more embarrassed with you when he arrives in all his splendor in company with the Father and holy angels. This isn't, you realize, pie in the sky by and by. Some who have taken their stand right here are going to see t happen, see with their own eyes the kingdom of God."

Anyhow, I have read/heard that passage a lot in my life growing up in church and going to a Christian University and working at Deer Creek Camp and just being in a Christian circle. For whatever reason, something totally different spoke to me as I read it and we discussed it at "Guys Grub."

"Take up his cross"...that's my cross he's talking about...YOUR CROSS!

Now when Christ was telling the disciples this they had no idea what the cross was going to represent. They may have been told, but they hadn't experienced it. "No problem, Jesus, we'll follow you" was there mentality and frankly, that has been mine every time that passage has come up...until now.

I know what the cross represents. It's easy to communicate the resurrection and the good...no the great, excellent, and only life that comes from the cross. It's easy to talk about the Risen Lord. It's easy to talk about conquering death, but it's hard to talk about the road that took Him there. The cross was covered in blood. The cross was carried by a man that had been beaten so badly he was unrecognizable. The cross was carried by another man because He couldn't carry it anymore because there was no strength left. The cross bore a sign that signified a liar that deserved what he got. The cross showed pain, hatred, rejection, and scattered friends (the disciples were hiding). AND HE IS TELLING US TO TAKE UP OUR CROSS AND FOLLOW HIM!

So this life we lead...taking up our cross...isn't just about following. It's about surrendering no matter what the circumstances hold. It's about trusting no matter how much has already gone wrong. It's about persevering even when we are "unrecognizably" hurt in our spirit. It's about carrying someone else's cross when they don't have the strength left to do it on their own. It's about standing your ground even when those around us scatter and hide. It's about being you...the real you in all situations. It's about getting out of your safety net and making a difference. It's about going to the next level and radically trusting in a Jesus that is far from safe and will take you into a place that is filled with fear and will ask you if you are willing to follow. He will ask you to lose your life and come into the place He intended for you...a life filled with love, joy, acceptance, and peace that you are to give freely to those that hurt, hate, reject, and scatter. Are you willing to follow? Do you have what it takes to give to those that won't receive?


New American Standard Bible

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