Taking Up Your Cross For Christ – Matthew 16:24-26
Taking up your cross is a process and a hard thing to do, lat us have a look at some scriptures.
Matthew 10:38-39 38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it. Matthew 16:24-26
24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
Following Jesus, following in his footsteps is not as easy as some people may say it is. Following Jesus like he wants us to follow him can take a lot of sacrifice and can be a very hard road indeed.
Let him deny himself
This is like taking a diet from the world. Denying yourself? Have you ever heard of that? We know about dieting, that is denying ourselves from certain foods that keep weight on, but denying ourselves? Do we know what that is all about?
Paul knew that the Christian walk would be a hard walk for the people that joined the faith. He knew that a single person could serve with more devotion and the Lord would be the only person they would be interested in. That is why he wrote this to the church at Corinth.
1 Corinthians 7:32-35
32 But I want you to be without care. He who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord-how he may please the Lord. 33 But he who is married cares about the things of the world-how he may please his wife. 34 There is[a] a difference between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she who is married cares about the things of the Request personal prophecy world-how she may please her husband. 35 And this I say for your own profit, not that I may put a leash on you, but for what is proper, and that you may serve the Lord without distraction.
Who would deny the love of a women or a man and remain single to serve the Lord with a devoted heart sold out for Him and him alone? A few days ago Gabriel had me quote this verse. If you are a young person can you die to self and decide to be single for the Lord and serve him as a single person? If you are divorced can you stomach serving the Lord as a single person for the rest of your days? It’s a calling; it’s something the Lord wants of you.
The Lord wants us to deny ourselves. Self denial; is that taught in the churches today? Don’t buy buy, buy, but give your money and sow your money into things for God and for his kingdom. Giving to God with no expectation for getting a return on your giving, but a giving out of self denial.
He who finds his life will lose it.
People search and search for life and they find a life that gives them pleasure and they simply will not let go. Jesus says these people that find life will lose it in the last day. People who live for this world and its lusts, that’s all they are going to have this world and its lusts and when they die they will go to hell, sadly even Christians. That is why we have to die to this life.
and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.
It is such a joy to serve the Lord. For a year I ran a prophetic website where I had a team of people who prayed for people and who gave them messages from the Lord. Today I still administer a website but I have people in authority running that website. For that year while I was doing personal prophecies myself it was such a joy and our team got up to twenty requests a day via email from all around the world.
That site took a lot of my time. Doing five to ten prophecies a day took a lot of my time. I had lost my life for Jesus and oh what a joy that brought me. It brought me such purpose and gave me such enjoyment to be ministering to the body of Christ like that. Today I am still happy as the people that serve with me on my site do a wonderful job.
Now the Lord has me writing articles. Each week I am constantly on the lookout for fresh material for the five articles/sermons I will do each week. I get so much enjoyment watching how many people read each article and seeing my readers go up about 1000 per week. I have earned no money yet from my articles, though I have made 66 into a book that should start selling when people see the value of it, but I get tremendous satisfaction sitting back a month later and reading articles I have put together in the middle of a night.