Taking Up Our Cross
Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
Mark 8:34-38 New Living Translation (NLT)
We have our ways. Sometimes our way is good but sometimes our way can be difficult. That's life in this world. We sometimes give up quite a bit of ourselves to profit on this planet, not thinking much about what we may be losing in the process. Still we hang on to this world for dear life as if gain is the only way to live, but eventually we will lose this life anyway. Jesus invites us to come His way and receive His salvation for eternity. He tells us to pick up our crosses and follow Him. He encourages us to give our lives to Him and through Him we will gain life everlasting in the Kingdom of God. The road won't always be easy, but we can trust it will forever be good.
Being ashamed of Jesus and His message goes beyond not sharing a message in social media that dares us not to repost it and risk being condemned. We will need to go further in our confession of faith in Christ than forwarding a meme. Jesus bore the cross of shame alone for us and when we do not pick up our own crosses and follow Him as He carries our burdens in this world, we are not following His way. Our shame is in pride, greed, lust, selfishness and not showing our love for God and each other. This is the shame we must avoid to ensure that Jesus Christ is never ashamed of us.
By the way, we've got to put down the baggage we carry and all that other stuff we cling to in order for our hands to be free to pick up our crosses. All Christ had in His hands when He gave His life for us were nails.