Throughout the New Testament, we see Jesus traveling from village to village, confronting His followers in love with the reality of His Kingdom and the power found in His name. He foretold of the suffering and condemnation He would soon face; ultimately giving expression to His looming death and miracle resurrection.
To be a disciple of Jesus means to deny self, to take up our cross, and to follow Him. In order to follow Jesus, we must be willing to deny our self-will and to follow Him, no matter where it leads us.
What does that mean in the life of a believer? It is not characterized by suffering through consequences of our own poor decisions. It doesn’t mean being a miserable person. It doesn’t give us margin to live victimized by all the bad things that can happen to us.
Carrying the cross is not about outcomes, but about obedience. Unconditional obedience to Jesus is a moment-by-moment decision to say YES to following Him with our lives, regardless of the circumstances.
Who do you say that Jesus is?
What trials or tribulations might you be facing that make it difficult to follow Jesus?