Carry Your Cross: Walk As Jesus Not As the World


The Lion Loosed

Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?” Luke 9:23-25 (NIV)


The Lesson Learned

“This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did”, the Apostle John writes in 1 John 2:5B-6 (NIV). When Jesus condescended to come down to the earth to save our scrawny necks, He gave us the pattern of denial of self. Paul writes in Philippians 2:5-8, “ Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death--even death on a cross!” Mere flesh recoils at this yet redeemed flesh embraces it. We owe Jesus our very lives. 
He emptied Himself, making Himself nothing, to save our scrawny necks and he calls us to “pour out our lives like a drink offering” as well. When we walk in obedience to our Lord’s commands Him – following in His footsteps – we soon discover it is for our own good and for the good of others and for the glory of God. In the first century when someone was walking through the city carrying a cross it always meant death. Always. As we follow hard after Jesus, we too are called to die to self. This is not a very popular idea in our age but in reality, it has never been a very popular idea. 
People want to do what they want to do. And people have always wanted to do what they want to do - in every generation from Adam and Eve on – and that gets us in trouble – fast. Unless, of course, our wills are in line for God’s will for our lives. There is nothing new under the sun. Nothing. John writes in 1 John 2:16-17 (NIV): “For everything in the world--the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does--comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.”
Christians are called to stand out – to shine like the light in the universe as we hold out the Word of life – both in words and deeds. Perhaps if believers quit trying to blend with the world, the world would seek to blend with them – to walk as we walk – for His glory and our good. 

Heart Savor

The Lion Roars

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it--he will be blessed in what he does. James 1:22-25 (NIV)

  • We are never to be lacking in zeal but keep our spiritual fervor serving the Lord.
  • We are to be zealous for the Lord’s great Name – through His power for His glory.
  • Create in me a pure heart and a steadfast spirit Oh Lord.