Jesus Christ talked about taking up your cross several times in the new testament while on earth but what does taking up your cross means and what are the examples of taking up your cross?
The above questions are what this article today will discuss, which are vital to your Christian living and your Christian life as a follower of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Taking up the cross daily that requires denying yourself is vital for every professing Christian who claims to be a disciple of Christ Jesus.
This is why Christ said in Luke 9:23 that anyone who desires to come after Him must be willing to deny himself to take up his cross daily to follow Him.
He further went on to say in Luke 14:27 that anyone not willing to deny self and to take up their cross daily cannot be His disciples and don’t understand what true discipleship is all about.
If you claim to be a follower of Jesus Christ, you need to learn from the apostle Paul who sacrificed everything for the sake of Christ and had to endure a lot of persecutions, trials, and inconveniences that come with living for Christ in this present evil world.
Sadly, most Christians nowadays aren’t willing to take up their crosses for Christ’s sake and will give up their Christian faith or journey at any slight inconvenience that comes with being a Christian.
Such so-called Christians however are fake Christians and don’t understand what true Christianity is all about I hope you are not such a person and if you are one, I hope this post will be a wake-up call for you.
With that said, let’s look at the 5 practical examples of taking up your cross daily that will remind you what true discipleship is all about.
How Do We Take Up Our Cross?
The idea of taking up our cross and following Jesus is so popular, but the reality can be quite different. Jesus said we must take up our cross daily in Luke 9:23,24.
But what does that mean? How should we do it? What does this look like in our lives? How do we take up our cross?
I think one of the best ways to answer these questions is by looking at how Jesus Christ did it. When He took up His cross, He did it willingly and joyfully.
He didn’t have a problem with being willing to die for others, because He knew that dying for others was the only way we can obtain salvation and eternal life so that we don’t end up in hell.
Like Jesus Christ, if we are to take up our cross daily, we need to follow the example of Jesus Christ who endured suffering for our sake even when it was difficult.
In short, to take up your cross, you need to deny yourself and fully yield and surrender your life to Jesus Christ and be willing to suffer for His sake as well as die for Him if the call to do so comes.
It also means that you must crucify your old self and its sinful passions, which isn’t easy due to the sinful nature we are born with that always inclines us to sin but with His grace, you can do it.
What Does It Mean To Take Up Your Cross Daily?
Taking up your cross daily is about being willing to sacrifice your time, energy, and resources for the sake of Jesus Christ and others.
It’s about living a life that is selfless rather than selfishly seeking pleasure, comfort, and material gain at the expense of others that this world seems to encourage these days.
Taking up your cross is an act of faith. It means that we will suffer for Christ and his kingdom. In fact, Jesus told us that if we follow him, we must take up our cross daily (Luke 9:23).
It also means laying aside all your selfish desires, ambitions, hopes, dreams, etc, and choosing to follow God’s will for our lives instead even if it’s uncomfortable for the flesh to do so.
This implies that you will no longer live for yourself or the world but choose to live for Christ all the days of your life even when it’s difficult until your time to be with the Lord in heaven comes.
What Does The Cross Symbolize?
The cross is the ultimate symbol of Christianity. The cross is a representation of Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf, and the love that He has for us. To a believer, it is a reminder of the love that God has for us, and what He has done for us.
To Christians, the cross symbolizes Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf. It also represents how we should live our lives in response to God’s love for us (Philippians 1:21).
As Christian, we are called to carry our cross every day as we live out our faith in obedience to Jesus Christ even when it’s inconvenient to the flesh which always desires comfort and pleasure.
Additionally, the cross also represents what the Lord Jesus Christ did for us when he died on the cross to save us from our sins.
The act of crucifixion was very painful so it shows how much Jesus suffered for us and reminds us that we must also be willing to endure a painful death for the sake of Christ if required to do so e.g. martyrdom.
5 Examples Of Taking Up Your Cross Daily.
Below are the 5 practical examples of taking up your cross daily that will show you are a true follower and disciple of our Lord Jesus Christ.
- Suffering Persecution For Christ’s Sake.
- Being Reproached For Christ’s Sake.
- Dying To Self.
- Putting Others First.
Self-denial is one of the major examples of taking up your cross daily Jesus Christ talked about this in Luke 9:23 in the New Testament.
You can’t be a true disciple of Jesus Christ if you are not willing to deny yourself for the sake of Him. Self-denial here simply means that you are willing to give up anything that pleases self for the sake of Christ even if that makes self cringe or uncomfortable.
It means that you stop seeking your self-interests or following your own will but choose to follow the way and will of Christ instead even if it makes self uncomfortable or upset.
As a believer, you need to understand as 2 Corinthians 13:5 tells us that we are not our own but belong to Christ implying that we just can’t do what we want all the time, especially if what we are doing is contrary to the will of God.
2. Suffering Persecution For Christ’s Sake.
Being persecuted for Christ’s sake is just part of being a true Christian. I know being persecuted for just following Christ can be very painful and inconvenient to the flesh.
But you need to understand as the apostle Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 3:12 that anyone who will desire to live godly in this present evil world controlled by Satan will suffer persecution.
Unfortunately, not many believers today are willing to be persecuted for Christ’s sake and forget that being persecuted and suffering for Christ’s sake is just part of the deal you accept when you become a Christian.
You need to understand dear saint reading this now that Christianity isn’t a bed of roses as most false teachers today may want you to think. We are persecuted for Christ’s sake because we are enemies of the world and not of it just as Christ Jesus isn’t of it, too.
3. Being Reproached For Christ’s Sake.
Being reproached for the sake of Jesus Christ isn’t always easy and can be one of the most inconveniencing things you can ever experience in your Christian life as a follower of Christ.
By definition, being reproached for the sake of Chris simply means that you are willing to endure the ridicule, shame, disgrace, etc. the world inflicts on you that comes with being a Christian or defending your Christian faith.
Moses in the Old Testament is one such example of many Christians in the early times that were reproached for the sake of Christ. He esteemed the reproaches and the suffering of Christ as far greater riches than the riches and comforts Egypt had to offer as Hebrews 11:26 tells us.
This must be you if you claim to be Christ’s disciple. You must esteem the reproach that comes with following Christ as of greater riches than what this world has to offer. Having such a godly mindset is what will enable you to count it all joy for being reproached for His sake.
4. Dying To Self.
Dying to self is one of the ways you can take up your cross daily for the sake of Christ and His kingdom. To die to self simply means putting to death your old sinful lifestyle that pleases your sinful self rather than God.
It also means that you will set aside anything that pertains to and pleases your carnal self and choose Christ instead which included giving up our wants, desires, etc. that please self.
For self to die in you, it needs to be crucified on the cross with Christ so that Him, not yourself now controls and directs your life. If you don’t die to self, you won’t be able to serve God wholeheartedly to the conflicts of interests between what self wants and God’s will.
Galatians 5:24 tells us if we belong to Christ, we will crucify the flesh and self along with its sinful desires and passions that make us do things contrary to God’s word.
5. Putting Others First.
Last but not least, putting others first is another example and way you can take up your cross daily which doesn’t come easy due to the natural selfish nature we are all born with that makes us naturally selfish and self-centered.
When Jesus said, “Take up your cross daily,” He wasn’t talking about literally taking up a cross and carrying it around all day long. But He was talking about putting others first, even when doing so doesn’t benefit us personally or financially.
Jesus said in Matthew 6:24 that our life’s purpose is to seek His kingdom and His righteousness above all else. Putting others first doesn’t mean neglecting yourself as you can’t care for others if you can’t care for yourself, first.
It simply means that you are willing to go an extra mile in helping others by putting their needs first above your own without any selfish ambitions or motives as Philippians 2:3 tells us to do.
I hope the above 5 examples of taking up your cross daily will now help you understand what true discipleship and following Jesus Christ is all about so that you can become a better Christian whose led by the Holy Spirit and not the flesh. In closing, if this post edified you, let me know in the comments below, and don’t forget to share before you leave. Godspeed.
- 5 Examples Of Worldly Things To Avoid [As A Believer].
- How To Avoid Worldly Things [That Please The Flesh].
- How To Surrender To God Fully [In 5 Simple Steps].
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