Then he said to them all, “If anyone wants to follow after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me will save it. For what does it benefit someone if he gains the whole world, and yet loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and that of the Father and the holy angels. Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.”
Luke 9:23-27 (CSB)
Following Jesus often means it will cost us. It can cost us financially, physically, emotionally. It can cost us our comforts, our conveniences, our very lives. But when we say yes to each step of obedience, when we carry the cross we are to bear, we will know Jesus more deeply. We will know His suffering, His death, but also His resurrection power. In the upside-down kingdom of God, what we lose, we gain; when we die, we live.
In the upside-down kingdom of God, what we lose, we gain; when we die, we live. Click To Tweet Leave a Comment
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
I believe that we can’t truly know Christ unless we share in His suffering. No one likes to suffer, but it is in the suffering that we are ushered into the holy of holy places – the heart of Jesus. It’s in these times that I have come to know His deepest love for me. Giving up comfort builds character, and a confidence in His faithfulness, love, and goodness. May we all have courage to take up our crosses and follow Him, no matter the cost.
Michele Morin says
Amy Carmichael (poet and pioneer missionary) prayed, asking to be delivered from “prayers that ask that I may be sheltered from winds that beat on Thee” and from “subtle love of softening things, from easy choices.” I certainly don’t have the courage that she had, and yet the truth is that we follow a savior who chose the cross. It is certainly within his power to help us make the hard choices and to sustain us in the process of obedience.
And as we gather with other believers today (here and in person!), may we find ourselves outfitted for life in Jesus’s upside down kingdom.
In the upside-down kingdom of God, what we lose, we gain and when we die we live. I really love this! I’m really struggling at the moment I have been procrastinating writing my thesis report. Yes sickness on myself and my sons mystery illness since Christmas time has been taking my attention also but I’m I don’t know scared, out of practice. I’m disappointed in myself after all the wonderful opportunities God has rained down on me to be nearly done yet so far off. I can’t articulate it or put my finger on exactly why I am avoiding it…I’m running out of time. Truth be told I feel like I’m not good enough to be doing this and if I finish then will the report do Gods provisions justice? Why me? It’s weird. Will I measure up..why would God want me of all people to help people build peace??? These are my constant thoughts and avoidance. Guilt also as I should have been finished ages ago. I’m lost and I don’t understand why. Am I fiercely sinning here?
Diana F says
Jan, I can relate to your struggle with feeling inadequate to minister to others. Living with a disabling chronic illness for many years now can perpetuate these feelings. However, what I’m learning in the process is a dying to self which includes turning my very real feelings of inadequacy & even worthlessness over to the Lord like the tax collector did when he beat his chest and said, “Have mercy on me, O God, a sinner.” Jesus teaches us that this man who confessed openly to God his inadequacy went home justified. I often find myself in need to remember that it is not my adequacy or worthiness which grants me peace with God. Then, what is needed is to look upon the sufficiency and great worth of Christ, asking him to fill us with the promised Holy Spirit in order to do the ministry, the good work, he has called us to. I guess what I’m saying is think of the feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness as a catalyst to be reminded of the gospel of Christ with which we are redeemed, justified, sanctified and empowered in order to bear fruit for God. It certainly has been and continues to be an ongoing process in my life. I’m praying for the Lord to strengthen you, Jan, through the reminder of who He is and what He has done through His steadfast love and mercies which are new every morning!
Thank for sharing and your heart felt message Diana F. Praying the Lord will strengthen you too x Thank you for the reminder, I have laid it all out to the Lord and tried to leave it all with him. Blessings to you and your family.
I believe we have an enemy and he is messing with you now, remember you have the victory because if Jesus. Do the next thing…then the next…
In His Grace you stand♡
Thanks Cindy this is good advice. I will do just that, one thing and then the next…
Dawn Ferguson-Little says
Yes help us take up our crosses and follow you daily Lord. No matter how hard it is. Even when Money worries health issues gets to us. To keep looking up trusing your word the Bible the Promises in it and prayer. Yes it might to hard but you are with us you will help us get through it. Even if don’t get our prayers answered this side of earth to keep living our lives for you. Especially when the unsaved would say. Where is your God now when you need him most. You just have to say nothing or say I am going to keep trusting my God even if I don’t see the answers this side of earth. I will take up my cross daily. Follow God word the Bible the promises in it and prayer. No matter how hard things gets. Even if don’t get the answers this side of earth I will get them in Glory with God. I say Amen too that. Because I keep looking up too God. Never let the Devil win. By telling you you will not get through this. It not going to get better. Why pray why trust the promises in Gods word the Bible. Things like that from the Devil make me pray all the more trust Gods word the Bible all the more and the promises in it and say them out loud to the Devil. And say Devil did you hear that. I am not going to believe anything you whisper in my ear. I going to listen to God and the promises in his word. Say them out good and loud for the Devil to hear and say a few times to the Devil. Love Dawn. Excellent teaching xxxxxxx
Me? I’ll keep trusting god. My. Family is seriously broken my daughter is estranged. Wants to hurt her own mother with her cold heart her boyfriend is an unbeliever treats me with disrespect. This is so painful. The devil always tells me give up. Your daughter will never talk to again. Need pray
I have found that the more you seek God the easier life becomes. your choices are better / things flow much easier and when bumps come it’s not as overwhelming as those who don’t have him in their lives. our journey may be hard as followers but there’s SO many blessings and happiness in the life he choses for us too. I’m praying for our sisters and brothers in the faith in other countries that have chosen to take up their cross to follow but are in knee deep in struggles because of the faith they chose.
Please pray for me to be able to continue to take up my cross knowing it will bring me closer to Christ and that He is always with me. I am struggling due to divorce. My ex left for another woman, that lasted a few years then he got saved & after 3 years of being saved is back with the same girl.
Dawn divorce is tough when you feel hurt alone people hurt the close people in their lives. I’m going through a very sad time. I find( in courage )brings some comfort. We also need to remember we cant control others. Your husband will be heart-broken when he finally sees the pain he has caused. This new girl might leave him, for something “better”. GOD BLESS YOU , SISTER YOU ARE LOVED MORE THAN YOU KNOW. 1-peter5:7
Beth Williams says
God never promised us a rose garden. He told us that in this world we would have trials & temptations. But take heart for I have overcome the world. He is asking us to get out of our comfort zones & do the hard work of spreading the gospel any way we can. I find that taking my eyes off myself & focusing on others helps me realize how “small” my problem is in comparison. Also I get a bit of joy by helping others. God has taken me on a journey into aging, dementia & geriatric psych. It was a long, sometimes arduous path to walk. It cost me a good job & no pay for 16 months. I would walk it all over again. Sure I lost money, but what I gained is so much more valuable. I have knowledge that can help others. Plus I spread the gospel in ways & places I never thought. I was told when feeding my dad one day “you will get jewels in your crown for this”. Just knowing that I helped my parents get through their final years tells me I’m honoring my parents.