23 Then he said to them all, “If anyone wants to follow after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me.
Christians follow their Lord by imitating His life and obeying His commands. To take up the cross meant to carry your own cross to the place where you would be killed. Roman soldiers killed many people in this manner—criminals and all those who opposed their rule. Applying this to Jesus’ disciples, it means identifying completely with Christ’s message, even if it results in death.
But Jesus’s command to carry our cross daily suggests that this goes beyond a willingness to die for the faith. We must be willing to live for Jesus in a way that requires daily “deaths” to our own self-centeredness so we can follow His ways.
We must deny our selfish desire to use our time and money as we wish and to choose our own direction in life without regard to Christ. There are three conditions that Jesus gives for following Him. We must be willing to deny our self, take up our cross, and follow Him no matter what.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- What areas in your life would you need to change to truly follow Jesus?
- Have you ever been mocked or made fun of for being a Christian?
- What would those around you say if you gave up everything for Jesus?
- What things in your life are you currently doing that imitate Jesus?
Pray for local partner ministry The Path Project as they provide food and after-school programming for school age children. Pray for their leadership and for the families they serve in Franklin.