And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “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 and the gospel's will save it.
Following Jesus has never been about ideology or theology but about sacrifice. When I consider the cross that the Lord commands me to take up I am reminded of the cross that he carried on the way to his crucifixion. Like his cross ours is often heavy and painful but we press on and deny ourselves anyway. His path, like ours, is a humble one that leads to the glorious culmination of a life lived trusting God.
Consider how the Apostle Paul told the Romans to present ourselves as living sacrifices and, as we do, to not be conformed to the world but be transformed by the renewal of our minds. This speaks deeply to me about how one takes up their cross. It is an issue of being a living sacrifice where our entire beings are transformed by the power of God as we deny and sacrifice our fleshly desires on God's altar as we follow him.
I offer myself to you today dear Lord. Use me and transform me as you do.