2 minute read.
Daily Reading: Genesis 39-40 GW; Matthew 16 GW
Picking up your cross means following Jesus. What makes people want to follow Jesus? They realize they need a Savior. Something happens in their life, and they are finally ready to ask for help. When they do, Jesus is waiting with open arms.
Jesus’s life was far from one of ease. Remember, He didn’t have electricity, running water, or an indoor toilet. In His humaneness, He lived in what we would consider poverty today. Jesus endured name-calling, beatings, and torture. People Jesus grew up with didn’t believe He was the Son of God. Jesus was considered a rebel. His teachings went against Jewish tradition. Jesus’s enemies were great, but His God is greater.
Suffering is a part of everyone’s life, even Jesus’s. He doesn’t promise a rose garden; He promises us trouble:
“I’ve told you this so that my peace will be with you. In the world you’ll have trouble. But cheer up! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 GW)
Picking up your cross will come with suffering. But take heart, Jesus overcame the world.
Jesus helps you overcome the troubles in life. He understands political upheaval and false teachings. When Jesus entered the world, it was much like the one we live in today. He faced every temptation and fear we do. Jesus dealt with the sick and dying. He knows the heartaches of life. But Jesus didn’t focus on the world; He focused on the Father. By keeping in union with God, He became a victor.
When you pick up your cross and follow Jesus, you will gain victory. His teachings will transform you. You will find purpose in Him that will use your unique gifts. In Him, you will overcome.
Lord, how we thank You for what You did on the cross. We’re grateful You picked up Your cross for us. Help us pick up our crosses and follow You. Forgive us for the times when we fail to follow. Give us the strength to say no to our desires as we embrace Your plans for us. Let us see the world through the lens of Your love. Everyone we meet carries their burdens. Help us lighten their load as we reflect You to them. IJNIP. Amen
Question for reflection
What will make you pick up your cross today?