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Carry a Cross?
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Someone in church read a verse where Jesus says that we need to “carry a cross.” Is it true that we need to suffer if we want to follow Jesus?

A: That verse is in Luke 14:27 and says: “And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.”

We don’t have to suffer in order to be accepted by Jesus. However, the reality is that the longer we follow Jesus, the more pressure Satan applies. So, when we go through tough times and want to remain faithful to God, Satan points us to very tempting “emergency exits” or shortcuts. His idea is to make us look in another direction and get us lost.

Take Abraham as an example. God asked him to sacrifice his only son. He was obedient and made all the necessary arrangements. But, although obedient, I bet that his mind was boiling with questions and doubts: “That request from God doesn’t make sense! What’s the purpose? Should I bring a ram with me just in case?” Fortunately, Abraham followed orders, and God gave him an exit (the right one) just at the very last second.

Bearing the cross basically means to fully trust in Jesus even when things don’t make sense, when we are tempted to do it our way, or when we don’t see light at the end of the tunnel. It is an internal fight (thus the suffering and stress) between following Jesus no matter what and taking the easy path that Satan offers.

Hands On

When the stress is overwhelming, remember that Jesus is at the other side of the cross helping you to carry it!

Josue's Pick

The Cost of Discipleship, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. It's quite a deep book but worth the read.

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By Josue Sanchez. Reprinted with permission from Canadian Adventist Messenger, November/December 2006. Copyright © 2006 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION © 1982.

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