From my reading in Luke 9:18-36 in the One Year New Testament.
In the movie “God’s Not Dead” the main character named Josh was confronted with a professor who challenged his faith. In order to defend God he had to make a series of sacrifices including working really hard on his presentation, having his girlfriend break up with him, and risking his reputation and grade.
Jesus gives us a lifelong challenge for those of us who want to be his followers.
“Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.” Luke 9:23
Luke is the only of the gospel writers that adds the word daily to this challenge. We must each make a choice everyday to be willing to give up what we want and surrender to God.
To take up your cross means to die to your self.
Each day we have a choice. Are we going to look to our own interests or are we going to sacrificially follow Jesus?
Taking up your cross is not easy but it is worth it.
“If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but are yourself lost or destroyed?” Luke 9:24–25
The only way to save your life is to give it up freely to God. Running after your selfish desires and the things of this world may satisfy you momentarily but ultimately you will have wasted your life. And worst of all you will forfeit your soul!
How do you take up your cross?
Take a few moments everyday to confess your sins to God and ask the Holy Spirit to guide and control your life. Tell God that you are willing to obey him unconditionally. After that, keep your spiritual ears open to whatever God might want to say to you and obey what you hear.
Another way to take up your cross is to identify with Jesus boldly like Josh did in the movie.
“If anyone is ashamed of me and my message, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in his glory and in the glory of the Father and the holy angels.” Luke 9:26
Being obnoxious is not the point. Holding a sign is probably not be the most effective method to reach our culture, but you have to give those people credit for their boldness.
When the subject of God comes up in your class, stand up for Christ.
When your friends start talking bad about Christianity, ask them what happened to them that makes them feel that way.
When someone asks you about your life do not be afraid to be honest about going to Church and what you are learning about God.
We are not all called to be pastors, but we are all called to be unashamed.
For some encouragement on this subject check out the awesome movie “God’s Not Dead“. Whatever God is asking you to do today I encourage you to take up your cross and follow Jesus!
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