Taking Up The Cross

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 16:24-26; ESV).

After watching “Letters“, a movie about Mother Teresa and her devotion to serving the poor in Calcutta, India, and “Hillsong: Let Hope Rise“, a documentary about the rise of the Australian megachurch and its amazing worship band, I was once again reminded of the heavy cost associated with following Jesus.

Though Scripture teaches me about how much the disciples sacrificed in following Christ, often to the point of a horrific death, seeing modern day examples of Christians “taking up their cross” speaks powerfully. Mother Teresa gave up a comfortable sheltered life in a convent to spend her days in the filth and disease of an Indian slum. The Hillsong worship band members sacrifice comfort, sleep, financial gain, and irretrievable time with their spouses and children to connect people around the world to God through worship.

Even though I have not been called to the extreme service and sacrifice of someone like Mother Teresa or the Hillsong band, I find myself complaining regularly about where God has me at this season in my life – doing laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, and chauffeuring my nine-year-old son to doctor’s appointments for his various health issues. Yet what is evident in the examples of Mother Teresa and Hillsong is the power that is released when God’s people willingly offer themselves as “living sacrifices” (Romans 12:1) fully submitted to the will of God.

Oh, that the minuscule sacrifices I make would bring such a testimony and give glory to God! I pray that God would forgive my arrogance. Who am I to tell the Creator of the Universe what his purpose for my life should be?

Beloved Warrior, on this Good Friday may the Holy Spirit’s power come upon you to take up your cross and fulfill the Lord’s calling on your life, “for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose” (Philippians 2:13; NIV).

Enjoy this song by Hillsong!