And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.
It can sound quite daunting and very unappealing to say, “I’m taking up the cross.”
If we hear someone say they’re living the crucified life, we might think, “I don’t want to hang out with that person. They’re not going to be any fun. They’re never going to laugh or want to do anything enjoyable. I don’t want to live like that. The crucified life sounds restrictive and oppressive.”
But that isn’t the way it is. In fact, it’s the very opposite of the truth.
Jesus said, “And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:27 NKJV). A disciple must take up the cross and follow Jesus.
There are people today who say they are trying to find themselves. Some will abandon their spouses and children because they want to go find themselves.
Jesus also said, “He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matthew 10:39 NKJV). Jesus was saying that if you want to find yourself, then lose yourself. If you want to find the purpose of life, meaning, and even personal happiness, then lose yourself.
You come to God and say, “Father, here is my life. Here are my plans, aspirations, and dreams, along with my weaknesses, shortcomings, and sins. I offer it all to You. I believe that Your plans are better than mine.”
Speaking through the prophet Jeremiah, God said, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV).
God’s plans for us are good, so we can dedicate our lives to Him. If we will live the crucified life, if we will take up the cross, then we will find life.