Today I led my church family in Communion with the following Scripture:
From then on Jesus began to tell His disciples plainly that He had to go to Jerusalem, and He told them what would happen to Him there. He would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day He would be raised from the dead. But Peter took Him aside and began to reprimand Him for saying such things. Peter said, “Heaven forbid, Lord. This will never happen to you !” Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get away from me, Satan ! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, and not from God’s.” Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If any of you wants to be My follower – you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow Me. If you try to keep your life for yourself – you will lose it. But if you give up your life for Me – you will save it. (Matthew 16:21-25 NLT)
When we take up our cross – when we deny ourselves – we do so to put God’s will – God’s plan – God’s purpose – above our own personal agenda. We discover the life that God intended us to live. It is written.