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Take up your cross and follow Jesus

Discussion in 'Polls' started by Br. Bear, Nov 27, 2017.

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How Well Do You Take Up Your Cross And Follow Jesus?

  1. Really Well

    1 vote(s)
    11.1%
  2. Quite Well

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Not Very Well

    2 vote(s)
    22.2%
  4. Not Well At All

    2 vote(s)
    22.2%
  5. Wishing It Was As Easy As Others Seem To Have it

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. Joyfully

    3 vote(s)
    33.3%
  7. Grumbling and Complaining

    2 vote(s)
    22.2%
  8. Trusting

    5 vote(s)
    55.6%
  9. Doubting

    3 vote(s)
    33.3%
  10. Blaming Others For The Cross We Carry

    1 vote(s)
    11.1%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Then said Jesus unto His disciples,
    If any man will come after Me,
    let him deny himself,
    and take up his cross,
    and follow Me.

    Matthew 16:24​

    How well do you take up your cross and follow Jesus?
    Most, if not all, professing Christians want to follow Jesus and go to where He is, to be with Him and even to glorify His name above their own.

    But how well do we do this? Do we actually even do this?

    Do we grumble along the way? Do we complain and justify our complaints?

    Do we gladly suffer all things?
    Do we sing as we follow?Is praise found on our lips .... or something else?

    Do we get distracted by the things of the world. Do we prioritise following Jesus after doing things that make our lives more comfortable and pleasing?
    Do we find ourselves doing a bit of men-pleasing along the way or do we stay focussed on pleasing Him Who calls us to follow?

    Do you rate your following Jesus outside of taking up your cross, meaning, do we consider that because we do all sorts of other things like Bible reading, going to 'Church', praying, giving cash to the 'church', living a socially acceptable life, that we don't really have to bother with taking up our cross?

    I can't imagine that carrying a cross all day is an easy task. Add to it the jeering and mockery, the hate and insults, the physical handicaps (beatings of life?) the sadness we face daily, the dashed dreams of a good life, the financial struggles we all seem to face at least occasionally, the daily tasks or work we find ourselves doing, etc, etc, etc, and the joy could easily become a heavy burden or a reason to lash out or seek revenge or just improve our lot.
    But do we retaliate? Do we bite and devour one another along the way? Do we build each other up? Do we help each other?

    Do we want justice done? Do we want an easier cross or at least an easier road to walk?

    I think if we are honest, we have probably all failed to walk humbly all the way, no matter how heavy and gnarly it gets.

    Surely justice is OK to expect, especially for those who wrong us or our loved ones or something or someone we care about? Do we agree to this? OK, let's say we do....
    Justice must be even balances, for all. Hang on... the wages of sin is death and all have sinned... so that means that justice demands the death penalty for us all... you, me and everyone else!
    Now look at the One Who died for the sins of the world... yours, mine and everyone's... and see the injustice of justice being waived for us....
    do we still scream out for justice?

    The cross we carry doesn't have to lead to a real life crucifixion in order to be real. There are many trials and temptations, much evil and darkness and deception. There are lies and hatred, laziness and aggression, there is mockery and poverty, disease and corruption, greed and tyranny, sadness and depression.... and much more... much, much more, all of which can either make us or break us. It depends on how you carry your cross and follow Jesus.

    Finally, do we carry it for Him, our cross, that is?

    Lots to consider and I invite you to share your honest valuation of your own walk following the Saviour.
    Confess and encourage because it will help not only you but also others who read your replies.
    What has helped you? What have you learnt? Any tips for each other?

    Bless you ....><>


    p.s. you can choose multiple choices in the poll and change your vote at any time.
    The votes are counted but your name is not so it is safe to vote anonymously.

     
  2. Good questions to stop and ponder, brother. I like how Jesus progressively defined His expectations in that verse.

    If any man will come after Me, let him

    1) deny himself, I'm not so good at that. I'm not yet at the point that I can truly say "I surrender all" because I so easily lapse into my natural (man's) default position of catering to the flesh. There's a certain amount of a lack of faith involved on my part too. Lack of faith as to wondering where following Him too closely might take me.

    2) and take up his cross, which is the cross that He has prepared for me, not the one(s) I pick up of my own accord. Who among us enjoys suffering? And as a Christian, I volunteered for it?? Again, the battle between flesh and spirit.

    3) and follow Me. This is where I get hung up. I know, both head and heart knowledge, that He bought me and I owe Him everything. I know that my life is His, and He can take much, much better care of it than I can. After all, that was my main motivating factor when I came to Him: I wasn't afraid of going to Hell when I died; I really didn't give it a second thought. I was afraid I had many long, miserable years ahead of me in my depression on this earth because while I wanted to die, what I really wanted was out; I didn't have what it took to commit suicide. (This was 20-30 years ago.) And I don't want to turn back from Him: Heaven forbid! But I've been keenly aware this year of my reluctance to go too far forward with Him. Up till a week ago, anyway, when I purposed in my heart to get back in the fight (1 Tim 6:12) where I belong, and off the sidelines. Where He might lead me, I don't know, but I know the end-game is to be conformed to His image and make it safely Home.

    Which brings me back to point 1, and putting down the flesh: denying myself, trusting and obeying Him, for His honour and glory.
     
    B-A-C, Br. Bear and Christ4Ever like this.
  3. I'm not worthy but Jesus loves me anyway! I try but often fail, thank God for Romans 8:1
     
    Br. Bear likes this.
  4. Its never easy when the cross gets heavy, but sometimes when I am following well, I seem to forget about it and just focus ahead. But I am usually joyful despite the crosses in life, in between good christian music to lift me up, and being in the spirit praying alot, it doesnt leave a lot of reason to focus on the bad.
     
  5. I want to say joyfully, but since we're being honest here, I have to go with grumbling and complaining. Not that I justify it. It comes and goes like seasons. I'm just in a particularly stressful one right now.
     
    Brad Huber and Br. Bear like this.
  6. It isn't easy but this increases perseverance. When Satin closes in, go back to that day that you first believed and he melts away.
    Colossians 1:26-27 “The mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory”
    When troubles come, remember this verse...though we may think about the bad, we don't focus on it because we have the hope of glory!
     
    Laura1557 and Br. Bear like this.
  7. For the same reasons that Jesus got angry and that Jesus wept, they are the main reasons that I get sad. I know its within the realm of possibilities that nearly all people see the light and turn to it and be saved, but when I see them put a basket over their heads (spiritually speaking) to avoid the light, it makes me sad, like seeing a dog with their chain broken, but still afraid to go beyond the boundary of the chain due to fear.
     
    Br. Bear and Laura1557 like this.
  8. Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. KJV

    To deny myself is to acknowledge that I am not able to follow Him by the religious flesh like keeping a commitment or a promise to do so.

    To pick up my cross daily is to be crucified with Christ in that sense that it is not I who live, but Christ in me as the power for following Him.

    To follow "Me" is to trust Him to help me to follow Him.

    So I voted "trusting" in how I pick up my cross daily in following Him. And I trust Him as my Good Shepherd to help me do even that, because I can do nothing without Him.

    John 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. KJV

     

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