Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
I have begun to carry a pair of small weights when I walk and run on the treadmill. I started doing this last week when I had read that it added endurance and caused you to burn more calories.
Yesterday I got onto the machine, punched in the time and weight information, and started increasing my speed for the warm up, I reached , picked up the weights off of the tray in front of me. I was struck by the immediate reminder of the verse above. I thought about how, God tells us over and over in His Word that the Christian life is not an easy life, and that we must pick up whatever He has given us to bear. I thought of the different kinds of “cross” that we have, some have illness, some have hard marriages, some have wayward children, some have addictive desires, and the list could go on and on. However, He calls us to not stop and get bogged down in these but instead, pick them up and walk out our lives following the One Who gave and still gives the ultimate example to us. CHRIST.
Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.
While still running, once my goal had been reached, I put the weights back into the tray in front of me, I again was smacked with a scripture reminder. Yep, the verse above. I struggled for a couple of minutes, with what the LORD might be telling me. This is what I believe He was saying to me.
“Deanna, there are two different kinds of weights and if people are not careful, they will confuse them. There is definitely the cross that you must pick up and carry. But there is also the sin that you must lay down. We may confuse the acting on addictions, the complaining in our marriage, and so on as our “cross to bear”, When Christ makes it clear, we lay aside those aspects of our flesh and carry out the calling He has. How we do this is to deny ourselves and follow His plan for us.”
I understand this is a timeless message, and it is also an unpopular one. But I do believe it is for me and for many others to hear and obey. May we lay aside our desire to sin, and pick up the cross He has given us, which is sometimes very heavy.