I said, that I wasnt going to do any quotes anytime soon..but dog on it.. this one was great!!! I love it!
I have been thinking about this a lot lately..THE LORD Is so good...I pray I continue to pick up my cross and follow him daily
"A friend recently asked me, "What would be some of the characteristics of the life of a person who is bearing their cross? (Matthew 16) What does this cross-bearer look like?"
It got me thinking. I'd love to hear some of your thoughts in the comments. Here are some of mine:
Single-minded devotion to the Lord, focus on the calling to follow Him above all else.
Jesus first, others second, self last.
Lack of self-indulgence and self-pity; he does what he does gladly, following his Master by choice, not just as demanded by circumstance.
Because the church is to be a community of cross-bearers, there is interdependence, casting your burdens not only on the Lord, but on each other, supporting each other, helping each other carry the load which at times will be too heavy.
The cross-carrier is a servant. He doesn’t look for others to serve him or baby him, he goes out of his way to serve them.
When he sees the poor and the needy, he releases his grip on money and things, realizing they belong to his Master, and the way of the cross is cheerful giving of money and time and skills.
A parallel passage to Matthew 16 is Luke 9:23, which reads:
Then Jesus said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
The “take up his cross daily” brings a new dimension, very significant.
It means carrying your cross is not just one big sacrifice that you make, then you’re done with, like giving one of your kidneys, or selling your house and giving to the poor or that time you ran out in traffic and pulled the kid back from the bus.
This is something you do every day. So it’s a thousand or ten thousand daily sacrifices, a lifetime of little loving acts, which cumulatively become huge. It’s a man who loves his paralyzed wife for forty years by saying no to his sexual desires every day, and dumps her bag of urine three times a day, to the glory of Jesus.
It’s a mother who cares for a son who never gets out of bed, day after day, and does it without complaining. Not just the person who dies in the coliseum in one triumphant hour, torn apart by lions because he refused to deny Christ.
It’s saying no to sleep to get up and pray and read the Word day after day, saying no to living in a mansion and owning a nicer car even though that might be fun but not as fun as giving to keep a child alive, of living more simply so that others may simply live, day after day. It’s doing the humble job that nobody applauds, but needs to be done, and which is seen sometimes by no one but the Audience of One.
Really, what carrying your cross daily is, is being humble, a servant, God-centered and others-centered, not self-centered. Yet, ironically, to be a servant is ultimately in your eternal self-interests."--Randy Alcorn