What does it mean to take up my cross?

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? – Matthew 16:24-26

People write entire books on this, but for this post, I’m going to keep it short and simple. (Matthew 16:24-26)

What is the cross? 
It was an instrument to kill the flesh. 

Jesus is saying to anyone that desires to follow Him, they should deny self (not focus on loving self) and kill the flesh (not gratify with fleeting, earthly pleasure)

When we deny our flesh, we live by the Spirit.

Jesus says over and over again “If you love me, you will obey me.” We obey what we love.

Jesus is the designer of life. He knows the best way to live it for human flourishing.

Could you imagine taking a boat and putting it on a road? Sure you could sit or even live in it, but it will cause accidents. The boat will never be what it could have been on the water. The boat was not designed for the road.

When we bow down to our flesh, we are not living the life we could have had in the spirit – so much better and closer to God.

We live in a time where loving self is our god. It’s an OBSESSION. It also often leads to depression and anxiety (hence why those statistics have progressively gone up).

“What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?”

Jesus offers something so much better than self-love, earthly pleasure, or earthly success. He offers Himself.

He offers freedom, true identity, value, purpose, meaning in this life, hope, comfort, and peace. He alone offers all the things we look for in this world (and never truly find).

Everything on earth will waste away. Everything new and exciting gets old and boring. But He offers a salvation that will live forever. 

For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. – Matthew 16:25

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