What does it mean to take up your cross daily and follow Him?
In previous blog posts, I have discussed the topic of discipleship but today, I’m going to delve a little deeper into a topic that I feel we as Christians talk about but don’t explain. In the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus makes three separate references about carrying your cross and following Him, but He warned us that by following Him; we would face persecution.
As Christians, we shouldn’t be surprised when we find ourselves a target of ridicule for our willingness to follow Christ, but then, why are we as Christians and people so surprised when we all Christ asks us to do is take up our cross and follow Him? Well, in Mark 8:35-37, Jesus tells us what we could lose or gain if we choose to follow Him.
“35. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? 37. Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”
What does it mean to be the leaven of the Kingdom of God?
Well, in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells us that the Kingdom of Heaven is like leaven, but what is leaven? Leaven or yeast is what was used by bakers to make the bread rise and expand and grow; just like the Kingdom of Heaven. Like the previous parables, the Parable of the Leaven focuses on the Kingdom of Heaven from the Holy Spirit as said in Matthew 13:33. Although the shortest of the previous four parables, the Parable of the Leaven will give us insight into how God’s kingdom is meant to grow.
While reading this blog post, I want you to ask yourself this question: Am I humbling myself according to God’s Word?
What does it really mean to “Humble Yourself?”
Well, the word humility comes from the Hebrew word anavah meaning “modesty” or “gentleness and meekness.” In Part 1; we talked about how Pride can lead you down a dangerous path away from God and what He wants for your life, but today; we will be talking about the other “I” trait: Humility and how we should strive to humble ourselves and think of others instead of letting our pride consume us.
In Matthew 18:3-4, Jesus tells us that if we don’t humble ourselves and become like little children, we will have no means of entering the kingdom of Heaven.
“3. … unless you are converted and become as little children, you will have by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. 4. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”Read More »
So, today throughout this post; I want you all to ask yourself this question: Am I focusing on myself or am I humble and focusing on others?
What does “Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall” really mean? (see Proverbs 16:18).
Well, the word Pride comes from the English word meaning “A sense of one’s own proper value or dignity” or “A overly high opinion of oneself.” God calls us as people and as Christians to give up our pride and humble ourselves, but how can we do that when we as human beings are prideful and arrogant? In Isaiah 13:11, Isaiah talks about how God will punish the world for its evil; particularly the arrogant, proud, and haughty of humanity.
“11. I will punish the world for its evil; And the wicked for their iniquity; I will halt the arrogance of the proud, And will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.”