“Whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.”
Putting Jesus first in our lives can cause real pain. Jesus calls that our cross—not just the pain that is common to humanity in a fallen world, but the unique pain that comes from following Jesus so closely that we lose something precious. Is there a cross in your future?
When you are tempted to shy away from your cross, remember Jesus. He was the “biggest loser” in history. He invested his life in preaching the kingdom, doing acts of love, teaching a radical way of living, training disciples to change the world, risking everything for the cause of God. And they killed him. What a loser!
No, says the gospel. It was precisely by losing that he won. By losing his life, he saved ours. And his resurrection proclaimed him the biggest winner in history, by proving that he was who he said he was, that he did what he said he would, and that he can be trusted to keep his word.
Trust is what we need in order to overcome our fear of the cross in our future—trust in Jesus and his work and his word.
The world says that putting Jesus first is foolish. The cross says that putting Jesus first is the way of salvation. So what will you trust—the wisdom of the world or the wisdom of the cross? Will you trust yourself or Jesus?
Lord Jesus, as we journey on through life, keep your cross before our eyes so that if we see a cross looming in our future, we won’t veer off the path. Amen.
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