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
It’s that time of year, when some of us look towards the CROSS of CHRIST, and meditate on what the CROSS means to us. Some who makes a PROFESSION of FAITH, takes the CROSS of CHRIST very seriously, some take the CROSS of CHRIST, not so serious, and then you have those who give it little if any thought at all. What does the CROSS of CHRIST mean to you?
Jesus wanted His disciples to REALIZE the COST of being His DISCIPLE. Shedding His precious BLOOD on the cross, was a very serious thing. The purpose of the CROSS, was that, there HAD to be the SHEDDING of the BLOOD of a PERFECT LAMB, one without blemish, before there could be REDEMPTION for mankind. And Jesus, who was without sin became the PERFECT SACRIFICIAL LAMB. He was OBEDIENT to God, even to His death on the cross.
So those who come to Him for their SALVATION, the FORGIVENESS of their sins, and wants to be His disciple (follower) MUST first DENY themselves, meaning to DIE to SELF, and LIVE by FAITH in CHRIST JESUS. This constitutes, your WILLINGNESS to TURN AWAY FROM your sinful lifestyle and to TURN TO GOD, and LIVE by His law.
To TAKE UP YOUR CROSS, DAILY and FOLLOW Him, means to DAILY LIVE for Him and to OPENLY PROFESS what you POSSESS. SALVATION is God’s gift to you, and DISCIPLESHIP is your gift to God. It SHOULD NOT be taken lightly, but SHOULD BE LIVED out by FAITH. It is NOT an EASY road to take, but the BENEFITS are worth the COST of DISCIPLESHIP.
If you have NOT given your HEART and LIFE to God, then the road you have chosen will lead you to an ETERNITY in Hell, with ALL its HORRORS, and NO WAY of ESCAPE. In order to get on the road that will lead you to an ETERNITY in Heaven, with ALL its BLESSINGS, you MUST DENY or DIE to yourself and TAKE UP YOUR CROSS DAILY to LIVE by FAITH in CHRIST JESUS. To do this you MUST TURN AWAY FROM your sinful lifestyle, and TURN TO GOD, with a TRUE REPENTANT HEART. You MUST BELIEVE, with ALL your HEART, that Jesus died for YOU, and is ALIVE in Heaven, making intercession for you, before God. Then CONFESS your sins to Him, and ask Him for His FORGIVENESS. You MUST ACCEPT God’s gift of SALVATION, and be willing to DENY yourself, and to TAKE UP YOUR CROSS and FOLLOW JESUS to an ETERNITY in Heaven. Do this NOW, while you still can. He’s waiting and coming SOON!!!