What does it mean to take up the cross? Sometimes people think it means that whatever is bothering them or plaguing them is their cross to bear.
But that isn’t what Jesus meant when He said, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23 NKJV).
The cross symbolizes the same thing to every person. It speaks of dying to ourselves and putting God’s will before our own. Taking up the cross is exchanging our plans for His plans. It’s when we stop trying to seek life and instead seek God.
So many people today are trying to find purpose in life. What is life about? What is the meaning of it?
The meaning of life, the purpose of life, is to know God. And the best life to live is the Christian life. To live it the most effectively, we must take up our cross and follow Jesus Christ.
The Scottish theologian Samuel Rutherford said of the cross, “Christ’s cross is the sweetest burden that ever I bore; it is such a burden as wings are to a bird, or sails to a ship, to carry me forward to my harbor.”
It’s through death to ourselves that we find life. It’s through exchanging our plans for God’s that we find the best. We find life as it was meant to be lived.
The apostle Paul said, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20 NKJV).
When we lay aside our personal desires and ambitions, God will reveal the desires and plans that He has for us.
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