An Obstacle to Indulgence
Our Cross – Part 1
Scripture Reading: Matthew 16:21-28
Key Verse: Matthew 16:24
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
Jesus was very clear: He was the first to suffer with a cross but would not be the only one that must deal with a cross. Our printed key verse could not be clearer: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” For Jesus, the cross became the obstacle to personal desires. Jesus prayed so intensely that blood was in His perspiration, in order to avoid His cross experience. But Jesus denied Himself; His personal comfort; His desire for a longer life; His desire to protect His family from seeing His suffering. He submitted to God’s plan by picking up his cross to do the will of God.
We who would believe in Christ must believe in these instructions: We have a cross. Before you too quickly agree to take up the cross, please consider the obstacles of this cross. It will stand in the way of your personal pleasures at times. It will be an obstacle to you getting your way in situations. It will block your personal ambitions and destroy your personal comfort many times. Our fleshly natures, which drive our tendency to self focus, will need to die on the cross you pick up. You will need to say, many, many times: “Not my will but your will be done!” Be prepared to have a fight with your passions and natural instincts for survival. The cross we must pick up will not be easy. (Continued)
Father, I surrender to your will today. When I have a desire that rivals what I know would please you, you win! In Jesus’ name, amen.