Mark 8:34 And Jesus called [to Him] the throng with His disciples and said to them, If anyone intends to come after Me, let him deny himself [forget, ignore, disown, and lose sight of himself and his own interests] and take up his cross, and [joining Me as a disciple and siding with My party] follow with Me [continually, cleaving steadfastly to Me].
We’ve been talking about denying ourselves and the next part is taking up our cross. This is something I have been meditating on for several weeks. What do you think of when you think of the cross? Death, suffering, torture may be a few words that come to mind, but even more than that what about purpose, calling and destiny? Lately I’ve been thinking more and more about the purpose side rather than about the suffering side. When your focus is on your destiny it makes what you have to go through to get there a little more manageable.
I think of that beautiful scripture in Hebrews 12:2 that says 2Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God. The end of this verse says that Jesus endured the cross for the joy of obtaining the prize that was set before Him. From the moment He came to this earth, Jesus was on a mission. He never took His eyes off of what He was called to do. When He was tempted, He never sinned, because He didn’t want to mess up His destiny. When He was weary, He didn’t stop because He was fulfilling His calling. When He was all alone He didn’t look at who wasn’t with Him, He looked to His Heavenly Father and that was enough for Him.
We have to condition ourselves to look away from everything that will distract, and regardless of what we may have to endure, pick up our crosses. Throughout the rest of this week, we will explore what that means. I encourage you to begin to prepare your heart to receive a fresh revelation of what your purpose is all about.