"Anyone who won't shoulder his own cross and follow behind me can't be my disciple." (Luke 14:27 MESSAGE) This passage talks about leaving family members to follow Christ. Does this necessarily mean we will leave our family here on Earth behind. NO! What it does mean is that we better be willing to. We better be willing to follow Christ no matter the cost and leave behind those who don't want us to do what is necessary to be His disciple. Following Christ means putting Him first above all other relationships in our lives. We are asked to carry our cross. The VOICE adds "as if to your own execution."
Carrying a cross is not all fun and games. It is not something to be taken lightly. It is a decision that needs to be made understanding the devotion is requires. I have been wearing a "Not a Fan" bracelet ever since I read that book. That is my reminder to pick up my cross and make a decision to be a real follower daily.
Carrying your own cross was the Roman way of showing submission to the Roman government. So, if you carry your own cross daily, it shows submission to Christ.
The Life Application Bible says, "Following Christ does not mean a trouble-free life. We must carefully count the cost of becoming Christ's disciples so that we will know what we are getting into and won't be tempted later to turn back."
Help me to remember what the Message Study Bible says: "Discipleship, you see, is not so much a matter of exhortation and bluster, of pep talks and cheerleading. It's a matter of intelligent deliberation. It is sitting in on a long strategy conference with Jesus Christ and finding the resources I need to live obediently and act redemptively." That is exactly what I am trying to do with these "40 Days Retreat with Jesus" and will continue to do after my 40 days are finished.