“And whosoever does not bear his cross, and come after Me (Jesus), cannot be My Disciple.” Luke 14:27
As a Disciple of Christ, the cross which we bear is a blessing. It is the freedom to live unto God; to partake in His Divine Nature through denial of our self efforts and abilities and purposely direct our faith, the good fight of faith, in the atoning work of Christ Jesus to carry us from glory to glory. Daily we look unto Him, the Author and Finisher of our faith, Who broke the power of sin in our lives, and follow Him.
“17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Cor. 3:17-18
At Calvary’s Cross Jesus afforded whosoever will believe, access to the Throne of God. Jesus and Jesus alone is THE Way, THE Truth and THE Life; there is no other. Jesus alone is the Mediator unto God the Father.
“For there is ONE God, and ONE Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” 1 Timothy 4:5
The world and much of the modern church openly speaks of God but they fail to mention the only way to commune with God which is faith in the Cross of Christ and the Cross of Christ alone. Buddha, mohammed nor Mary are mediators unto God and those who vainly attempt to commune with God through the dead, whether the dead be Saints of God or not, are not in fellowship with God the Father.
If it were possible to commune with God the Father any other way than through Jesus Christ and Him crucified, than Jesus Christ was crucified in vain. God forbid no! Here is what I want you, the Believer, to understand; this which I speak of is not only for our Salvation but for our daily living for God. This which I speak of is the sanctifying peace of God which orders our footsteps; the Grace which is sufficient; the life which is more abundant…all those things which are added unto us as we seek Him first. This which I speak of is the good fight of faith in the finished work of Christ Jesus and not that which I can do, must do or will do to gain a form of righteousness.
This which I speak of is “my” cross. The cross I am now able to bear because Jesus Christ bore the penalty and broke the power which hindered my liberty to follow Him is one for which I will fight for daily. I know in Whom I have believed and He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him.
“…nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.” 2 Timothy 1:12
“My” cross is not about me but Jesus. If not for the Cross of Christ, no one would be able to bear their own cross…the burden would be too heavy. If not for the Cross of Christ, we could not follow Jesus nor be His Disciple. Religion will present a method to follow Christ; something we must do to be His Disciple. Whether it be water baptism, fasting or reading the Bible; if our faith is directed in those activities in order to maintain and/or gain righteousness; we are not Jesus’ Disciple but religion’s disciple. All of those activities are absolutely Scriptural and every Believer should be doing them. However, we must be careful not to direct our faith in that which we do. When we do this, the Cross of Christ becomes of no effect in our lives. The cross we bear becomes heavy as we look unto ourselves and what we must do.
“And He said to them all, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23
Are you following Christ or following religion? The cross you pick up; is it heavy?
-Donna Clark Warren