In this series, we are breaking down Luke 9:23 and what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. If you haven’t read Part I, make sure you go back and read that first. In the last post, we discussed mindset and the attitude that we need to adopt in order to be followers of Christ. Now, we are going to look at the next step.
In Luke 9:23, Jesus says, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily…” Jesus had just finished sharing with his disciples about what he would suffer in the near future, and he continues with explaining what it really means to follow him. Jesus knew that his mission on earth was to die on a cross to bring salvation to the world. Everyday he went out and he served the people he would die for through healing, forgiving, engaging, and setting an example for those of us who would continue his ministry of bringing people back into a right relationship with God.
Take up our cross daily: Habits
I have read commentaries on what it means to “take up your cross daily” and most of them focused on suffering or dying to self, and I absolutely agree that is part of it, but I think it’s more than that. I believe that taking up our cross daily refers to spiritual habits, which do not only involve dying to self, but also walking in our purpose, taking on the mission that God has for each of us. Every single believer was given a gift to be used to serve others, but in order to know how to use our gift effectively, we have to practice spiritual habits daily.
Prayer- Jesus died so that he could have a relationship with us. What is a relationship without communication? The habit of prayer also keeps us connected to God and ready to listen when He speaks to us.
Meditating on Scripture – The Word of God is a powerful tool, a weapon against Satan, full of wisdom, transforming power, comfort, and with it God speaks to us and through us.
Obedience – James 1:22 says, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” Through prayer and meditating on Scripture, the Holy Spirit will begin to prompt us. Obey. Jesus took up his cross in obedience to the Father, we are to do the same if we want to follow him.
New habits are always hard at first, but in order to make them lasting, it involves making a choice everyday. Are we going to serve ourselves, or are we going to serve God?