Pick up Your Cross

When we reflect upon the Resurrection, we celebrate the triumph of Jesus overcoming the grave and sitting at the right hand of the Father in Heaven. We celebrate His victory and all He has done for our Salvation. He is alive and lives in our hearts and we await for His return. He will reign upon the earth as He did once before.

As followers of Christ, we must remain steadfast knowing that we should walk as Jesus and live as an example.  We should pick up our cross daily and follow Him. Mark 10:21

What exactly does that mean? Jesus requested the apostles to leave all they had to follow Him. In the New Testament, Jesus speaks of giving up everything to follow Him. He commanded to give riches and treasures to the poor and to put Him first in every area of our life. In Mark 10:25, Jesus said, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God.”

Jesus want to know your heart is pure and that you can be content in all circumstances. Nothing should stand in the way of relationship with Him.  Of course, our Father gives us good pleasures, but He wants us to delight in Him. He wants us to honor and obey Him. He does not want us to be persuaded or enticed by glitz, glamour, fame and fortune.  Neither does He desire the church to become a den of thieves.

Picking up your cross also means to be obedient to what the Lord ask you to do.  When we follow and surrender to Jesus, we desire to please Him. He will also fulfill the desires of our heart. “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” John 15:7

Moses answered the call to lead the Israelites through the wilderness to the promise land. Joseph was obedient to endure betrayal and be thrown into a pit, despite the jealousy of his brothers, and still blessed them in spite of their evil ways towards him. Jeremiah was obedient to prophesy over disobedience in the land.

It is not always easy to be obedient to the Lord. In many cases, it can be tough. However, the Lord supplies everything you need to overcome the challenges, obstacles and surprises life brings. God is not looking for perfect people. He calls the misfits, the outsiders, the prideful, the unqualified, and the sinful.  Mark 2:13-17

When we pick up our cross, we are not carrying the burdens of life on our shoulders. This may be a misinterpretation of what the verse means and easily misunderstood. Jesus already paid the price for the penalty of sin for all of us. He carries our burdens. The greatest love of all flows from the heart of Jesus. By no means, we are to believe that we are to carry the cross like Christ did. Our works or deeds on earth does not open the doors to heaven. Salvation does. That is the whole reason Christ died for us. Without the crucifixion of Christ, there would be no sacrifice. Nevertheless, our works will be rewarded once we enter into the Kingdom. “Through faith and patience we will inherit the promises.” Heb 6:12

All that you search for in this world is null and void and does not satisfy. Jesus said, “I am the bread of life: He that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” John 6:35

Pick up your cross and follow Him daily. Be a disciple of Christ.  Share the Gospel. Uplift and encourage others. Ask for wisdom, discernment and understanding and walk as examples of Christ.

Just a few things to think about…

What can you do to welcome others who have a different lifestyle than you or do not have the same faith or values that you have? How do you react or respond to stress, worry, doubt or fear? How do you act when you’re angry, tired or frustrated? What can you do differently when emotions take over? How do you lead by example in the workplace? How do you share your testimony with others when they don’t know Christ?

You’re welcome to leave your comments. Thanks for your support.

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Additional Scripture References:

Matt 7:9-11

Phil 4:19

Heb 6:10

 John 18  and  John 19

 I Peter 1:3-9

 Romans 3:23-25

 I Corth 15:13-28

Standing in the Gap

“I am the way, the truth and the life, nobody can get to heaven but through me.” John 14:6

 The divinity of the Lord is holy, pure, and righteous. He is omnipotent and all-knowing. We will never be able to grasp the full knowledge and understanding of his love and power. However, we can receive His love and power by His Spirit through faith.

Jesus was sent into the world to save the world not to condemn it, but that the world through Him might be saved. John 3:17-21

You cannot work yourself into heaven. If that was the case, Jesus would not have been nailed to the cross. His death would have meant nothing if we just had to be good and do well (with the possibility to still go to heaven). Eternity is not a gamble. It should not be left to chance or luck.

Jesus carrying the cross

Jesus carried the weight of sin and He is the intersection between God and man. It is the T-junction between holiness and sin. Jesus came to stand in the gap to pay the debts of sin. He joined us together to reconcile us with the Lord.

Through His sacrifice, commitment and divine purpose to bear the burden for our sins, we receive the gift of salvation and eternal life. The infinite life that we receive by faith is an exact replica of the power of the resurrection: Dead to sin through the transformation of the Holy Spirit.

You must first accept Him as your Lord and Savior and repent for your sins. You will no longer want to please your flesh, but instead, please God. You will gain wisdom, discernment, spiritual consciousness, and awareness which is sensitive to the Holy Spirit.

The power of the Holy Spirit brings deliverance and real transformation in your life. If you’ve never experienced this before, you will need to develop trust, obedience, patience, and endurance. You will be molded and shaped through experiences. It’s not an overnight process. It happens gradually. It happens through the gentle touch of the Spirit of God.

Do not let shame, guilt, embarrassment or condemnation stand in the way of your choice. Do not let people influence your decision. You are ultimately responsible for your salvation. Your friends, family, and associates will not be there when you leave this world. You came into the world by yourself (with the help of your mother) and you will leave by yourself, so their opinions do not matter. When you experience a tug in your heart you should follow through in obedience.

girl looking in the mirror

Do not quench the Holy Spirit.” I Thess 5:19

Jesus was the only man who was perfect. He suffered pain, humiliation, isolation, temptation persecution, and murder. He was innocent and blameless, yet He was accused and convicted. We will never be perfect, but we have dominion and authority and can walk just as Jesus did.

When you look to the cross, it demonstrates strength, endurance, courage, and victory. When you are aware of the power of Christ, nothing will be impossible to overcome. Luke 1:37, Mark 10:27

“I can do all things in Christ which strengthens me.” Phil 4:13

Those same characteristics are within you. “And God said, “Let us make man in our image; after our likeness and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and overall the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Genesis 1:26-27

Cross

You must pick up your own cross in this life. Matt 16:24 No one can escape this process; no matter who you are.

Whatever is dead in your life, ask for the power of the Lord to breathe upon your life to resurrect all that is lifeless.

The word of God is life to your bones.  The word of God is spiritual food to keep you nourished and spiritually strong. It’s the meat and substance to uplift and empower you.

Jesus in tomb

“For God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ. Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.” I Thess 5:9-10

Taste and see that the Lord is good.” Psalm 34.8