“Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.”
~ C.S. Lewis~
When I read this quote I immediately think of the following scripture, Then He said to them all, " If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily", and follow Me. Luke 9:23 (NKJV)
Then he said to all, "Anyone who wants to follow me must put aside his own desires and conveniences and carry his cross with him every day and keep close to me! Luke 9:23 (TLB)
Accepting Christ and serving Him is not a one time experience. It requires picking up our cross daily, carrying that cross and obeying God's Word. This is where many people fall short of successfully fulfilling God's will for their lives. People often remain in their comfort zone regarding their relationship with Christ and neglect to think about how it is necessary to renew their relationship daily with the Lord. A Sunday morning sermon will not carry us through an entire week of trials and turmoil.
People are willing to pay a high price for something they value. Is it any surprise that Jesus should demand this much commitment from those who would follow Him? There are at least three conditions that must be met by people who want to follow Jesus. They must be willing to deny self, to carry their crosses, and to give up their lives. Anything less is superficial lip service.
"Keep close to me" is literally translated "follow me"! The Christian follows his Lord by imitating His life and obeying His commands. To carry our cross means to deny our selfish desires to do things our own way. Living in this way is costly now, but well worth the pain and effort in the long run.
Each day when the alarm clock sounds we make decisions that determine who we will serve. Everything we do that day identifies where our relationship stands with the Lord. As Christians we must strive everyday to be more like Him in all areas of our lives. Even though that is a tall order and a difficult task remember, "No pain, no gain". That certainly applies to our walk with the Lord as well. We face challenges and temptations each day and how we respond determines if we are truly carrying His cross or simply picking it up when it seems convenient to do so.
Serving Christ is a daily walk with Jesus. It requires cultivating a strong relationship with Christ by reading our Bibles and praying. It means striving to become more like Him every day. Picking up His cross daily requires demonstrating Godly character and integrity in all areas of our lives. As Christians we are to exemplify Christ in every aspect of our lives.
I admit that I don't always pick up my cross daily and follow Him as I should. Sometimes the flesh gets in the way and I don't want to carry the cross that particular day. If I am upset with my husband or a situation in the church is bothering me I certainly my not feel like carrying my cross. Sometimes the flesh tells me that it is better to whine and pout about a situation in my life and that response hinders my walk with Christ. If I choose to make Christ my number one priority each day it is much easier to pick up my cross and represent Jesus Christ in my life. That type of action will cultivate a growing strong relationship with the Lord.
Dear Jesus, I pray that You will always help me to realize that I need to pick up my cross daily and follow you no matter what situation or circumstance I may be facing. Please keep me humble and don't allow pride to cloud my vision. You are my strength and my salvation. Only You can provide the direction that I seek for my life. Thank you Lord for always being there and for Your willingness to help me each day to stay focused on You and Your will for my life.
Ladies, I apologize that I have not been successful today with Mr. Linky. There appears to be a problem.
Blessings to each of you today!