I am sure you have come across this phrase,” take up your cross and follow me meaning,” uttered by Jesus Christ in Matthews 16:24 at one point in your Christian life as a believer.
But what does it mean to take up your cross daily and follow our Lord Jesus Christ as a true disciple? This is a question that most Christians especially new converts ask.
Jesus Christ tells us in Luke 9:23 in the new testament that anyone who desires to come after Him must deny themselves, and take up their cross daily to follow Him. Failure to do so implies you can’t be His disciple, period.
Self-denial and taking up your cross daily are part of true discipleship. I know this is not something many fair-weather Christians don’t want to hear in this age today.
However, one thing you need to understand is that true Christianity and true discipleship aren’t a bed of roses where everything will be smooth sailing all the time.
When you decide to be a disciple and follower of Jesus Christ, you also agree to the terms and conditions that come with being His follower.
Some of the terms and conditions you sign up for when you choose to be a disciple of Christ Jesus are self-denial and bearing your cross even when it’s inconvenient for the flesh to do so.
You need to understand that the flesh and our sinful self will always want the easy way and to naturally do things their own ways that are contrary to what God wants.
With that said, let’s look at what the phrase,” take up your cross and follow me meaning,” is all about and the implications it has in your life as a believer who’s decided to follow Jesus Christ.
What It Means To Take Up Your Cross Daily?
In short, to take up your cross daily simply means to be willing to suffer and endure the hardships, trials, and persecutions that come when you choose to follow Christ.
It means that you are willing to inconvenience the flesh for Christ’s sake by sharing in His sufferings. Naturally, our flesh always wants to have things the easy way and hates being inconvenienced.
However, as Jesus Christ tells us in Luke 9:23 that if you are to be His true disciple and follower, you must be willing to suffer for Him and inconvenience your fleshly comforts for His sake which is a great sacrifice indeed.
Taking up your cross daily also implies that you are willing to die for Jesus Christ, no matter the cost just as the early Christians in both the Old Testament and the New Testament who went before us did.
Many early Christians and believers faced death, suffering, hardships, and persecutions for their Christian faith. If the early Christians were not exempted from facing death and suffering for Christ’s sake, why should you?
Sadly, many so-called Christians are unwilling to take up their crosses daily or inconvenience themselves for Christ’s sake and easily give up their Christian faith at any slight discomfort or hardships they face on their Christian journey.
However, you need to understand that when you choose to be a disciple and follower of Jesus Christ, you also agree to be willing to suffer and die for His sake should that be required of you. It is what true discipleship demands.
True discipleship demands that you lay aside all your selfish desires that pamper self and say yes to God’s will for your life even if it deprives or makes self uncomfortable and puts your life at risk of death.
Related: 15 Vital Characteristics Of A True Disciple Of Christ.
Self Denial Is Part Of Cross Bearing.
Self-denial is also part of taking up your cross daily, which you need to do if you claim to be a true disciple and follower of Jesus Christ, which isn’t always easy as our sinful self naturally never, wants to submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Instead, our natural sinful self always wants to do things its own way even if those things contradict God’s word. This is why Jesus Christ tells us to deny ourselves if we are to be His disciples (Luke 9:23).
If you don’t deny yourself, there will always be that conflict of interest between what your sinful self wants and what your Master Jesus Christ wants and these are eternally opposed to each other.
Self will tell you to do this but Jesus Christ tells you to do that and that which He asks you to do will always cross paths with what your sinful self desires which is why it needs to be crucified and gotten rid of (Galatians 5:24).
It is why Jesus Christ further said in Luke 14:26-33 that anyone who is not ready to deny themselves and to take up their cross daily, cannot be His disciple as simple as that.
Related: How To Crucify The Flesh Daily [In 7 Simple Steps].
How Do You Carry Your Cross Daily?
To carry your cross daily, you simply need to do what Jesus Christ commanded as we earlier saw in Luke 9:23, which is to deny ourselves and be willing to carry our cross daily as we follow Him.
It means that you must be willing to endure the hardships, afflictions, offenses, inconveniencies, and persecutions that come with identifying yourself with Christ.
Jesus Christ made it clear in John 16:33 that in this world we will have tribulations but we must be of good cheer as He’s overcome the world.
Since Christ overcame the world and set a perfect example for all as believers as to what carrying your cross is all about, we must do the same and by His grace, you can do it.
As you know, Jesus Christ due to the great love He has for us had to endure a lot for our sake so that we can have salvation and eternal life, which included dying on the cross for our sins, which weren’t easy.
It is why He said in Luke 22:42 that it was possible, to let this cup of suffering He was about to drink pass from Him but He said that God’s will which was to suffer and face death on the cross for our sins be done instead.
Christ saying that showed the gravity of what He was about to endure and He did. The same applies to you as His true disciple and follower. All true disciples of Christ willingly suffer for His sake.
There will be times in your Christian life you will wish that God takes away all the suffering, trials, tribulations, and persecutions you are currently facing for His sake.
However, you need to be like Jesus Christ and say,” let God’s will be done and fulfilled in your life,” even if it means enduring suffering and being persecuted for Christ’s sake which our carnal flesh doesn’t always want to endure or subject itself to.
Related: 10 Steps To Submitting To God To Live A Surrendered Life.
I hope the above post on,” take up your cross and follow me meaning,” has finally helped you understand what taking up your cross to follow Christ is all about.
One key takeaway you need to know about true Christianity and discipleship is that it has a cost and as a true disciple and follower of Christ, you must bear that cost.
In closing, if this post has been beneficial to you on your discipleship journey let me know in the comment below, and don’t forget to share before you leave. Stay blessed.
Other Similar Posts.
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- 11 Major Characteristics Of False Disciples Who Are Without Christ.
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