THIS WEEK’S FOCUSED SCRIPTURE
Matthew 10:38-39 (NIV)
38) Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39) Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.
THOUGHTS FROM ADAM
In Matthew chapter 10, we see Jesus preparing and encouraging His disciples for a life of ministry. The disciples must have been both excited and nervous as Jesus describes the challenges and expectations to the young and eager crew. Then in verses 38 and 39, Jesus puts their directive on a specific track with a clear outline of what it means to identify with Him.
During that time in history, the cross represented a death sentence for crimes against the Roman Empire. Those who were convicted would literally carry the instrument of their death for all to see; there was no subtlety. It was public, and it was brutal, and it was humiliating. However, that is not what carrying the cross meant to Jesus. Carrying the cross, Jesus fulfilled the will of our Father, despite the public humiliation it caused Him. Jesus was carrying the burdens of others with every step, even though it was not His to bear. When He shouldered the cross, Jesus fulfilled His divine purpose, which was something no one else could do. The Bible says that Jesus embraced the cross with joy (Hebrews 12:2).
Today, our charge is the same as it was for the disciples. By taking up our cross, we are separating ourselves for the cause of Christ. Jesus shows us that to take up our cross is to do the will of the Father, not our own will. To take up our cross is to put the needs and best interests of others before our personal needs and interests, regardless of the inconvenience. When we truly take up our cross, we step into the specific calling and purpose that God has placed on our lives; those that no one else can do. If we will embrace our cross with joy, we will lose our life, and in doing so we find it.
This year let us embrace our cross with joy! Every day we have the opportunity to shoulder our cross, pursue the will of the Father, prefer others, and step into the unique purposes that God has entrusted us with. Do not miss the chance to find your life on a daily basis!