“And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself?” Luke 9:23-25
What does it mean to take up our cross daily and follow Jesus? The Lord was referring to the fact that the Romans required the condemned to carry their cross to their crucifixion. Jesus isn’t talking about our physical death; but rather death to our self-centeredness.
We are alive to Him and dead to self-centeredness. Paul makes this clear when he says; “we are a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” and “all died … so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him”
What Old Things Passed Away?
What New Things Have Come?
If every Christian were to ask themselves these two questions, the world would be changed dramatically for the cause of Christ.
Here are perhaps my favorite verses in all of scripture. Read and meditate – the answers become clear.
“For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:14-21
What Old Things Passed Away? Everything that was – All of the issues of life and the world (past, present and future) were overcome by Christ at the cross on Calvary. Is your heart still ruled by the problems and false teachings of the world? It is said that as many as fifty percent of Christians reject bible teachings, and believe in evolution. How can this be? Are you driven by your feelings, lust, pride, fear, worry, envy, jealousy, and hate? Are you a slave to your possessions. Are you more concerned with how you appear to others – or are you following God’s teachings and the leading of the Holy Spirit?
Our basic problem is in how we see things. If we still see things through the eyes of the person we were before we were born again spiritually, the old things will still rule in our heart. But if we see ourselves as Christ sees us: aliens here on planet earth – and citizens with Him in heaven, here and now — only then can we truly abide above in mind and spirit, and live in peace – contrary to the problems of this world.
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul.”
1 Peter 1:9-11
And What New Things Have Come? Everything that matters are the new things. We have the love of Christ guiding us – a new mindset that controls us, we see others and everything around us differently, new priorities, new goals, new plans, new ministry, new mission, and His righteousness rules in our hearts.
This is what Jesus sees when He looks at you and me.
“seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.”
2 Peter 1:3-4
And what do you see? Have you nailed all of that which are “the old” in your life onto the cross of Christ?
Are you living for Jesus – or for yourself?
“And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.
Grace and Peace to you my friends,
Bob West -Geezerdust.com©2020