Cross Into Your Life
Then Jesus said to his disciples,
"Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves
and take up their cross and follow me."
Matthew 16: 24 (NIV)
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All through the New Testament, Jesus invites people to follow Him. It is quite an invitation. Simple words, really. But how lives changed when folks said yes.
"Follow me," He says to Peter and Andrew, "and I will make you fishers of men." (Matthew 4:19 NASB)
"Follow me!" He says to Matthew the tax collector. (Matthew 9:9 NASB)
"...come, follow me," He says to the rich young ruler. (Luke 18:22 NIV)
He is saying the same thing to you. "Come, follow me."
Now we know that to follow Jesus means that sooner or later you will be led to the cross. And not only that, you will be asked to carry your cross along the way. That can be very frightening. The cross seems like nothing but pain and misery. True, the cross you carry will require sacrifice on your part, what kind and how much only God knows.
You might be thinking, "Isn't there another way?"
Jesus is the way. He tells us that Himself.
"I am the way, and the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me." (John 14:6 NAB)
Are there other ways to go? Sure there are. But the way to eternal life, the way to a life of love shared with God the Father, through Jesus your brother, in the company of the Holy Spirit, is the way of the cross.
The cross leads everyone to love. And once you have found the love that God has for you, you will never be alone. You will know what to do and which way to go and how to get there.
Jesus will be with you all along the journey.
So accept the invitation that Jesus gives to you. Say YES when you hear Him say, "Follow me."
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About the Painting:
I wanted to show the cross as a kind of signpost. And with signs they always seem to be telling us which way to go. Everyone wants to know - usually before they say yes - where the cross will lead them. This way or that way? Up or down?
Well, first the cross leads to love. That is why I put the heart in the middle of the cross. The cross leads to love because it leads you to God. First to the Son of God, who died on it, then to God the Father, whose will the Son obeyed, and then to God the Holy Spirit, who reveals to us the truth about the cross - that Jesus died there for all of us, specifically for you.
And once you discover the love God has for you, then no matter where the cross leads, you will be at peace.
So now you know which way to go.