Embracing Your Cross?

23 Then He said to them all, ‘If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me.’” ~ Luke 9:23

In the movie “Passion of the Christ,” one of the thieves that was crucified with Jesus ridiculed Him saying, “Why do you embrace your cross, fool?”

Well, Jesus stated it twice in the book of Matthew, once in Mark, and two more times in the book of Luke. The purpose of embracing, or taking up your cross daily, is to deny ourselves and put Jesus first by putting others first. Paul takes up the torch on this as well when he instructs us to “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves” (Phil 2:3).

So what does it mean to embrace your cross? In its simplest form, it means to do things you do not want to do, like forgiving others for slight as well as grievous offenses done against you. It means that when others curse you, you bless them. Do not return railing for railing, or insult for insult, but rather offer words of hope, encouragement, and avoid word wars at all cost. If we do these things, we will do well.

Father, thank You for the blessing of reconciliation. Help us to count the cost and to pick up our cross and follow Jesus daily. Help us not to tire of doing good. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

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