23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. 25 For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? 26 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

Through inspiration of the Spirit the Apostle Peter had just rightly declared Jesus to be the Messiah; God Himself in human flesh, sent to redeem His chosen followers from the world.  Jesus had just told His disciples the plan; He would be hung on a cross, die, and be raised three days later.  This was alarming to the disciples, as Jews expected the coming Messiah to rule the world when He arrived.  They expected Him to stay with them now and forever.

Jesus then took it a step further.  Jews of the day knew the condemned were forced to carry their own crosses, or specifically the 100-pound cross beam, to their own crucifixions.  This would be very difficult to carry 20 feet, let alone the journey to the edge of town.  This was especially true after the flogging and beating that most prisoners received prior to their crucifixions.

Through this statement Jesus announced this is what it means to follow Him, full commitment.  His followers must bear their own crosses on the eventual path to death and heaven.  This is not a one and done trip.  God is with us every step of the way; however the forbearing weight of the cross must be born every moment of every day.  This is not salvation, but obedience in light of His salvation. 

The consequence of taking up the cross daily is complete death to self.  The Christian dies to the whole way of their life, and exercises their new daily life, moment by moment, in Him. 

Count the costs my friends, Jesus left no wiggle room.  Our Creator spent His life for us and commands us to spend ours for Him.  The Christian loses their life and gains that which is phenomenally and eternally better, a saved life in Him.

He backed this up with rationale and encouragement.  What profit is there to gain the world and lose eternity?  Our focus must be on heaven and eternity, not our passing moments here on earth. 

Biblical prophecy is intersecting with current events, making it clear.  He is coming for us soon.  Time is short.  Make sure you are living every moment with and in Him.

God bless,

Ron