Jesus said, 'My cross is not merely my cross, it is my invitation for you to carry your cross as well.' (paraphrased) Mark 8:34 says, "And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, 'If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me."
You cannot be a follower of Jesus Christ without following Him onto 'the cross.' You cannot experience a ressurection without a crucifixion. And in this fallen world, as we make our way through to the restoration, we have to carry the cross! In Luke 9:24 Jesus said, "For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it."
When things are hard sometimes, one of the lies of hell is, "I don't even want to live, I just want to kill myself." That's just satan twisting a truth of God. You do need to die, but you don't need to take your physical life!
You need to give your life to God!
What needs to die-is your will to control. What needs to die-is your will to determine.
What needs to die-is your will-period!
I guarantee you, that a dead man doesn't struggle much with lust. And a dead shopaholic, she's just not impressed with a credit card anymore! The vain person, when they die, they're not worried about their hair!
So how do we become free from this world? We join Jesus on the cross - willingly!
We follow hard after Christ as passionate Christ followers and we echo what the Apostle Paul said in Galatians 2:20, "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live but Christ now lives in me because I was crucified and the life I live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me!"
Today, in the name of Jesus, I am praying that you would connect in a more real world way than ever before: the murder of Jesus to the meaning of your life! The death of His sacrifice to pay for all sins - the freedom that you are offered to not live under the gravity of sin!
The faith that Jesus had toward God is now an invitation for you to have faith toward God. The belief that God did not let love die is the belief that He will not let you die!
The belief that "God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life," is the belief that you are worth dying for! (John 3:16) So guys, you can live under the gravity of 'The Fall', in self pity and in addiction all of your life if you want to. You can live in rebellion and anger saying "I can do this," but gravity is gonna win in the end - but for Jesus!
If you've never invited Jesus into your heart and given your life to Him, then I want to invite you to do that. It comes as simple a prayer as this: "Dear Lord Jesus, save me, take control of my life! I ask you to come into my life, thank you for dying for me, I give you control of my life, please forgive me of my sins."
When you and I do die (to ourselves) and get ourselves off of our hands, we are then indwelled and inhabited by the Holy Spirit of God, by the very spirit of Jesus Christ, and we live according to the 'fruit of the spirit' (Galatians 5:22-23): "Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Gentleness, Goodness and Self Control." We're free! -Dr. Drew Shofner