Whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.
God forbid that I should boast except in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
As soldiers, Jesus gave us two key Orders: 1) Carry our crosses; 2) Follow our Leader. 'Come, take up the cross, and follow Me' (Mark 10:21). But are these crosses shiny symbols hanging from lovely necks in well-dressed congregations? Or heavy duties carried on sturdy backs through painful persecution?
As followers, are we strolling down easy streets toward popular destinations? Or walking up narrow paths toward unlikely destinies? 'Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it' (Matthew 7:14).
Actors, models and talent for Christ: What is your cross? Short answer: Your duty unto death.* What is your mission? Following Jesus, no matter what. Consider the continuance of Abraham, Joseph, David, Moses and Joshua. Consider Paul, who faced trial after trial, but held the course of Christ.**
How does this play out for you? Consider media: Your success isn't quick? No matter. Your success isn't big? Says who? Your success isn't easy? Neither was His. You've been ridiculed? So was He. It's too hard? Ask God's help. You're not rich? Yes, you are. Doors have closed? Others will open.
Friends don't understand? Find those who do. 'For the message of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God' (1 Corinthians 1:18).
'And you, being dead in your trespasses... He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses... having nailed it to the Cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it' (Colossians 2:13-15).
Can heroes do less than their duty?
To Be Continued...
* Excellent short article on 'Take up your cross and follow Me': http://www.gotquestions.org/take-up-your-cross.html
** The Apostle Paul suffering for Christ: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Corinthians+11%3A22-28&version=NKJV
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Soldier's Orders series.