The Cost of the Cross
"Then He said to them all: 'Whoever wants to be My disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow Me.'" -Luke 9:23
Have you ever paid a lot for something you really wanted? When I was a teenager, I saved up enough money to buy 50% of my first car. I really wanted the car, but more than that, I wanted what the car represented: Freedom!
As a teenager, I was desperate to get out of the house. I knew that getting a car would afford me this. And so, I was willing to pay the price for that freedom.
We know we are called to new levels when what was once acceptable behavior now gives us a "check in our spirit," or an increased sense of conscience. What once was okay and even okay for others is no longer okay for us. These smaller discrepancies in what is right or wrong is described in this scripture: "One person's faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables." -Romans 14:2.
This doesn't necessarily have to do with food — it could be our habits, our discipline, the way we relate to others, how we spend our money or time, or the words we speak. But, we will find that when we act on this new conviction it will bring new levels of freedom, even if it costs us at first.
God creates boundaries for our own benefit. And, by doing so, we discover more of His abundant life in the process. "For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!" -Romans 5:17
Is there any area of your life where you feel an increased sense of conscience? When we are called by Christ, we are given great responsibility. Take up the cross that God has called you to.
Related resource: The Cross: God's Way of Salvation, by Martyn Lloyd-Jones