標 題： 背起你的十字架
經 節： 於是耶穌對門徒說：「若有人要跟從我，就當舍己，背起他的十字架來跟從我。」（馬太福音十六章24節）
up Your Cross
Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him
deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. (Matthew 16:24)
Your “cross” is God’s will fo ryou,
regardless of the cost. Taking up your cross is a choice; it is not beyond your
control. You may have health problems or a rebellious child or financial
pressures, but do not mistake these as your “cross to bear.” Neither
circumstances you face nor consequences of your own actions are your cross.
Your cross will be to voluntarily participate in Christ’s sufferings as He carries
out His redemptive purposes_(Phil. 3:10). Paul said he rejoiced in his
sufferings because he knew that by them he was able to participate in the
suffering required to bring others into Christian maturity (Col. 1:24).
We tend to want to go immediately from
“denying ourselves” to “following Jesus.” But you can never follow Jesus unless
you have first taken up your cross. There are aspects of God’s redemptive work
that can be accomplished only through suffering. Just as Christ had to suffer
in order to bring salvation, there will be hardships you may have to endure in
order for God to bring salvation to those around you. Jesus did not talk with
His disciples about the cross until they had come to know He was the Christ
(Matt. 16:21). You will never be able to endure the suffering of the cross
unless you have first been convinced that Jesus is the Christ. Once you have
settled your relationship with Christ, He will introduce you to your cross.
There is no Christianity without a cross.
If you are waiting for a relationship with God that never requires suffering or
inconvenience, then you cannot use Christ as your model. God’s will for you
involves a cross. First, take up your cross, then you can follow Him.