Good morning people who lay down your lives for the cause of Christ
Matthew 16:24 NIV Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
We are not going to take up our cross if we don’t first deny ourselves. We will not be willing to pay the price if we are not even willing to say NO to ourselves.
Again, the world’s culture frowns deeply on any suggestion of denying yourself. So, there isn’t even a starting point for taking up your cross. But this is what disciples of Jesus must do.
Jesus denied Himself in the garden, and then He took up His cross. We must do the same.
Jesus was misunderstood by the crowds. We will be too. Jesus was attacked and ridiculed by those in positions of power. We will be too. Jesus was compared to murderers and crucified with them as one of them. We will be too.
The words of Jesus in His famous Sermon on the Mount are so true for us today as it pertains to taking up our cross:
Matthew 5:10-12 NIV Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Persecution and suffering for choosing the path of righteousness is not a new thing and nor should it be an uncommon or surprising thing. The prophets before Jesus were persecuted. Jesus was persecuted. The disciples after Jesus were persecuted. And so will we be persecuted too as true disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ.