Blessed… Take Up Your Cross

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “All who want to come after me must say no to themselves, take up their cross, and follow me.   All who want to save their lives will lose them. But all who lose their lives because of me will find them.   Why would people gain the whole world but lose their lives? What will people give in exchange for their lives? For the Human One is about to come with the majesty of his Father with his angels. And then he will repay each one for what that person has done.  I assure you that some standing here won’t die before they see the Human One coming in his kingdom” (Matthew 16:24-28, Common English Bible).

“Now that I’m a Christian my life will be so much easier.” Another said, “Preacher, now that I am a Christian, why isn’t my life easier? Doesn’t God love me?”

I have heard all that many times over the years. In light of our lesson today, how could we ever think that life as a Christian would be easy? Jesus says, “Take up your cross and follow me.” Anyone who would see the cross as easy really needs to give some thought to what easy really looks like.

To carry this a step further, Jesus also says, “All who want to save their lives will lose it. But all those who lose their lives because of me will gain it.” Again, I can’t speak for you, but nothing about that sounds easy to me.

As people of faith we can become targets for people outside the faith. Further, even if we are not targets, we are not going to become exempt from the problems of life. Christians lose loved ones. Christians get audited by the IRS. Christians are involved in car accidents. The list can go on and on. Being a Christian does not exempt us from the difficulties of life.

What being a Christian does do is give us fulfillment in life. For some at least, before being a Christian, life may have been easier but satisfaction in life was elusive. When we quit chasing the things of the world and start chasing after the things of God, how we look at life and approach life make a real change within us. It doesn’t mean things will always be easy. It just means we will have satisfaction. And then, maybe, just maybe in that satisfaction we may find real joy.

Where do you look for your satisfaction and joy?

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy and Thanksgiving,
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

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