The way of the cross

As we all know it is a symbol of death. But how much do we hear that it is also a way of life? It is a dieing to self as we proceed in this life. It is progressive dieing. We should be dieing daily.

Dieing to what? The old man. The sins of the natural man. The selfish desires. My way. My desires. Let’s face it, the natural man does not want to die. It thinks that it is here to stay, for the long haul. It wants to get as much as it can, as fast as it can.

Even if you have been with the Lord for years, the flesh still wants to live and rule while here on the earth. It will fight to it’s dieing day.

It is the hardest thing in this life, dieing to self. Dieing to my desires, my will, my way. Going to the cross each and every day and saying, “not my will, but yours be done, Lord”.

Christ said himself after speaking about family members, “anyone who does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. He that finds his life shall loose it: but he that loses his life for my sake shall find it”. (Matt.10:38-39)

In your walk with Christ which involves dieing, have you ever thought or yelled out, “I want my life back!” Many have said this and decided that the way of the cross is too hard and have turned back. Lets face it, dieing is hard period.

When Christ was telling his disciples about how he must go to Jerusalem, suffer and be killed and than be raised again, Peter rebuked Christ for saying that. Christ turned to him and said, “get behind me, Satan. You do not mind the things of God, but the things of men.” (basically the natural things, not the spiritual) (Matt.16:23)

Christ then turns to his disciples (and to us who are his followers), “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” (vs24)

Denying to this self is a lot harder than led to believe. I can here them yelling out, “no one ever told me in the beginning when I first came to Christ, that this is what it was going to be like.”
“All I heard was that life was now going to be good, sweet and enjoyable.” “No one ever told me that I was going to have to die to me, myself and I.”

They stomp down their feet and yell out, “If this is what is evolved, no thanks!” “I want my life back!”

I truly wonder how many would follow Jesus if they were told upfront that their life would be one of many trials, tests, suffering and a continual dieing to themselves?

Isn’t this what Jesus is telling us in Matthew? He is using himself as an example, then he is asking us to do the same. Are we willing? Those that have and are going through it would say that it is way easier said then done. When the tests, trials of this life come, look out! it will shake to the core!

If you are not really seeking after God and putting him first, then there will be no real trials, suffering, and dieing to self. Oh don’t get me wrong, without God in our lives we will have plenty of difficulties, hard times etc. Why? Because His love will always be pursuing us and trying to get us either into relationship or back on track if we have gone astray. He never stops because of His love for us.

So whether we are following Him or not, it’s going to be tough in this world. But real dieing, real suffering comes only by way of the cross.

Christ goes on to say in Matthew 16, if you try and save your (key word) life, your going to lose it. But if you lose your life for Christ and his kingdom then you will find it. (16:25) Next Christ brings in the subject of gaining this whole world. Now we must remember that he talking to disciples, not unbelievers.

“What is a man (or women) going to profit by gaining this whole world and losing his soul? What shall a man (or women) give in exchange for his soul?” (vs.26) How many believers do you see or know that seem to be going all out for this world and trying to get as much as they can? Oh they go to church on Sunday, you can be sure of that. But where is the heart? How can we get some kind of idea? Jesus said that out of our mouth proceeds what is in the heart (Matt.12:34, 15:18-19)

When you get together with them, what do they spend most of their time talking about? Houses? Cars? Dogs? Sports? Jobs? You get the picture.

The bottom line is that if you want to be a disciple of Christ you are going to have to die to self. All our selfish wants and desires will have to die. He is faithful to show us personally what must go. He is always showing us what is in our heart and what must go. It will be a life long process of dieing and going to the cross.

Will we make it? Will it become to hard for us? Will we give up? Will we get tired of the struggle? The fight, will it become too long and hard?
Only by the grace of God shall we continue on this road carrying our cross that leads up hill to “Golgotha” (a place of a skull)

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4 Responses to “The way of the cross”

  1. Prodigal Knot Says:

    Hey Richard!

    I get the picture alright. And it grieves me to see so many “believers” who could care less about knowing the Word, much less talking about it. I am sick of Sunday Christians who have no interest or desire to save their friends or neighbors. And they have been throwing water on the fire I had when I first believed.

    I am reassessing what I believe doctrinally based on the apathy I see. I am now searching for others who really crave the Word and want to know the truth. We need to get together again soon!

    As for your last question: The biggest lie Satan wants us to believe is that we are not good enough or strong enough to endure. And while the first part is true, God has promised He will save us to the uttermost…His sheep that have always heard His voice and will not listen to the voice of another. The weeds are being gathered, that’s why they are so obvious to us. “But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.'”
    (Matthew 13:29-30)

  2. rjperalta Says:

    Prodigal Knot,
    You said it! Bless the Lord!
    Next week if it works out.
    Thanks and may continue to bless you in his word.

  3. terrileewilliamson Says:

    I cried out once… “I want my life back!” to which He quickly replied, “Your life is not your own.” So very true! I gave it to Him to do with what He wants…
    Thanks for sharing!
    Tia

  4. Richard Says:

    terrileewilliamson,
    I like that, “I gave it to Him to do with what He wants”. That right and good!
    Bless you,
    Thanks for stopping by!

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