Key Scripture: Matthew 16:21-25
What does it mean to carry your cross? A strained relationship, physical illness or challenging job is not the definition of carrying your cross and what happened to Job is not the definition of a Christian life; remember that Job predated Abraham and the promise of God given to him and his descendants. The death of Jesus took away death and sickness which is why Jesus went about healing the sick. God is a covenant-keeping God so He will not give you sickness. Carrying your cross is also not self-pity; it is losing or going through something for the sake of Jesus Christ.
There are various things attached to carrying your cross.
From Luke 14:25-27 we see that we must love God more than spouses, mother, father, children or friend and if we do not, then we cannot follow God. The essence of everything is love: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life” John 3:16. When the Spirit of God is in a person you will overflow with love and you will be dead to yourself. So what does it mean to deny yourself? It means that God can call you at any time because you no longer live your life for yourself. Understanding this is needful and in order to help you to do this, ask yourself the following question: What do you place in front of God? Check your answer. God does not want you to make money or do things at the expense of your soul.
Salvation and Conversion
Being Born Again and Converted are two different things. When you are born again it is a definite work of grace but if you are not converted after being born again you will lose your salvation. This is because God begins to plant and instruct you on what and what not to do, listen to, watch and where to go just like a baby who is helped and fed by their parents, we begin to dig deep into the word of God and become solid in the things of God. Conversion is continuous and this is why some people become born again but fall off after sometime. What you are you willing to lose for the sake of Christ, your job, your family, your best friend? Jesus said whosoever loses their life for His sake will gain tremendously.
Cutting Off Ties
Proverbs 1:10. Evil communication corrupts, it corrupts good manners and corrupts absolutely. If you speak to someone whose actions are constantly wrong whether or not they profess to be a Christian, they will feed you with their poison. Remember that it is not so easy to build as it is to destroy and you have to take your stand when it comes to certain things in life. Beware when some “believers” come and begin to tear things apart for their own gain, and when you observe, respond accordingly. Let it be that your life is simple and straightforward.
Standing for What is Godly and Right
Jeremiah 47:14. Do not mind when people shun you in your ministry because you do not fit into a certain category. Don’t be afraid to stand for the truth either. One day Jesus will come back and it is important to be ready. Take Jeremiah tor example, his prophecies and warnings were accurate and even though he was hated for it, he told the truth in spite of what people thought.
100 Fold Reward
In Mark 10:27-30 Jesus said “With men it is impossible but not with God for with God all things are possible…” Don’t feel that because you are following God you will be a poor person; persecution is a fact but Jesus brings hope to every situation. Depend on God who will fill you with wisdom, defend you, bring you peace and give you your own.
Luke 16:11 Faithfulness is required in following the things of God. Remember that you don’t need experts or likes for your ministry to flourish but you do need God. Read 1 Thessalonians 4:15-16 and comfort yourself knowing that you are child of God and one day you will be caught up to meet with Him in the air. You will not be left behind in Jesus name.