Hello, I’m hoping that super catchy post title had you coming in hot!
This is the second of a two-part post that breaks down Matthew 10:37-39. For today’s discussion we will be going over the following verses:
“and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
Let’s start on “take his cross.” What does that mean? I had an idea, but wasn’t sure, so I went on a google search. I landed on a great article by renowned Christian author, Lisa Bevere. Here is the link if you would like to read her take on what it means to take up your cross: https://messengerinternational.org/blog/devotional/what-does-it-mean-to-carry-your-cross/
“The cross I carry is all that Jesus has done for me, just as the cross you carry is your gospel, or witness, of what He has done for you.”
So basically, our cross is our testimony. It is the story of what God has done in your life. The cross is your past. It is where you were at before you knew Jesus, and it is the journey of where He has taken you, what obstacles He has helped you overcome, and what chains of bondage He has helped you break. How incredible is that? Writing this post has opened my eyes to something I did not understand God was asking me to do. I am supposed to pick up my baggage, my failures, and my brokenness and follow Jesus. I just have to carry my story. He will make it all matter. He will make it all worth it.
Whoa! How crazy big is our God, that He can take our past, no matter how terrible, or boring, or great, or sinful it was and He can use that for His glory. Our cross is — our story for God’s glory! That blows my mind.
We could end right there, but let’s tackle that last part while we are on a roll.
“Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
This is where the loser part comes in. This verse confused me when I first read it. I had to do some research and ended up finding some cool stuff. The summary of my finding is this; if we cling to our picture of life the way we imagine it should be, we will lose it. If we are so focused on accumulating wealth, or fame, or success, or whatever thing we think is most important to achieve, we will lose the very life that matters.
Mark 8:36 says “What will it profit a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?”
Instead we should strive to lose ourselves in Christ. We should make our sole purpose in this life to know God more. The more we work to get closer to Him, the less we will try to become whatever it was that we thought was so important in the first place.
God can’t use us until we have surrendered control. He can do amazing things through us when we have agreed to leave our idea of what our life should be behind. That is the sacrifice he asks us to make.
For the longest time I thought in order for my life to mean something I had to become the best at what I did. In my younger years, that was playing basketball and pushing that love and talent I had for the game to a state of total burn out. Then in my early twenties I decided that for my life to matter I had to qualify for the National Finals Rodeo. I put all my energy and effort into that for a few years and ended up feeling like a complete and total failure when my short lived professional rodeo career didn’t take me to the top.
It’s so obvious now, but I was blind to all of this back then. I was clinging on for dear life to things God never asked me to do, and I was completely lost. I was praying to win basketball games and barrel races, when all He wanted was for me to just draw near to Him.
Giving up control and letting go of doing it “my way” has brought me such freedom. I still have times where I get caught up in trying to achieve something that God isn’t asking me to achieve. I recognize this when I begin feeling my stress and anxiety levels rise. I ask the Lord to help me let go of those things and all the worry is washed away. I hope this post has helped you understand what it means to take up your cross and lose your life for the Lord.
I think I got more out of this blog post than any of the previous posts. God’s way is so much better than my way. Following him brings me true peace and true joy.
Praying for those things for each of you as well,