Your cross is not your sacrifice. Jesus was crucified ON a cross. Therefore, to take up your cross is to be ready for the world to crucify you for the sake of the gospel. Taking up my cross is the willingness to be rejected by the world.
For us to accept Jesus as Saviour we must first see Jesus as King, rightly having the authority to offer us salvation on His terms. Sin came about when man rejected God’s authority. Salvation comes about when man accepts God’s authority: when we see Jesus as our King.
How oft have I betrayed my Lord
with feigns of love in deed and word
While in my cold and calloused heart
I held myself from Him apart
The hands are strong, but gentle
The force is firm, but kind
The pressure from the Potter’s touch
Brings changes over time.
Give me Christ and take my heart
Thy righteousness to me impart
Bring me under, bring me down
Bring me broken and duty bound.
We must contend for our faith, by fighting for holiness, standing against false teaching and demonstrating, by the obedient lives we live, the truth of the Gospel: that it is possible for a man to live for God, it is possible to be holy.
Mercy makes sanctification (holiness) possible, peace makes preservation possible, and love makes service/ministry (our calling) possible.
The modern church does not suffer, primarily, from a lack of teaching: the modern church suffers from a lack of obedience. The failure of the church today is that Believers refuse to practice the teachings of Scripture: we make every excuse to do the opposite of what the Bible teaches. We will only be able to stand up to the fierce storms of life if we have a foundation built on OBEDIENCE to God’s Word.
In the end, the battle is fought on the grounds of FAITH: do we believe that Jesus did all for us, that He will manifest His righteousness in us despite all apparent evidence to the contrary?
As long as we try to tackle sinfulness by focusing solely on the sinful acts, rather than the lusts that produce them, we will live in frustration. The only way to stop a weed from sprouting is to kill it at the root. God provided us with the best (and only) sin killer available to man: His Word. God’s Word of truth will transform us inwardly so that our very desires will change. And when the root of a sin is gone, the sin goes with it: No root no sin, no problem.