Taking Up the Cross
And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:27)
Spiritual exhaustion is natural. When it happens, it affects our attitude and our outlook. Whether you serve in the church or the community, you have probably had the feeling at some point that you’ve done all you could do: “I’ve helped in the soup kitchen for years. I deserve a break!” Or, “I’ve led this Bible study long enough. There are plenty of others who should be helping!”
I’ve felt that way, too—it’s human nature to get tired of serving. We would much rather do our own thing; we’d much rather serve ourselves instead of others. Or sometimes we are just simply tired of the many trials we’ve had to endure or the challenges we’ve had to face in life.
Whenever I start thinking this way—that I’ve done too much or endured too much for Christ—I try to think about what He has done for me. Jesus took up my cross and carried it to Calvary until His broken body couldn’t carry it any more and Simon was summoned to help Him. I’m so glad He never said, “I’ve been enduring this abuse for several hours now. I don’t think I have to go through this any longer. There are others who can take it from here. I’ve had enough!”
Jesus told His disciples that, in order to follow Him, they would have to take up their crosses daily. At the time Jesus told them this, they hadn’t seen Him taking up the cross they deserved. But I’ll bet they thought about it after seeing Him go to Calvary. They must have—not a single one of the disciples who followed Jesus to the end ever turned back. They all volunteered to serve Him to the end of their own lives.
I pray I won’t ever get to the point where I think I’ve done too much for Christ. If I do, that will be a sure sign that I have begun to devalue what He willingly did for me.
Heavenly Father, I thank You for what Your Son, Jesus, willingly did for me. Please help me take up my cross and follow Him without holding back. Amen.
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