34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save their life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. Mark 8:34-35
A decision to follow Jesus Christ is a decision to lay down one’s life for the sake of the gospel. Now all of us that follow Jesus will not die a martyred death. Some of us will never taste death but maybe raptured at the last trumpet call. But to take up one’s cross and deny one’s self means that we are no longer leaving for our own selfish desires and we are no longer living according to the sinful nature.
When we come to Christ we receive the Holy Spirit and as we seek the Lord in prayer and the study of His word we are transformed from the inside out. The pursuit of our lives becomes the will of God and His kingdom. We no longer seek after the desires of this world because our lives have been given to Jesus Christ.
When we place our faith and trust in Jesus Christ we become God’s sons and His daughters. We must open wide our hearts to the fullness and power of the Holy Spirit. We must draw near each day and understand that our walk with Christ is a day by day journey. It is not a one time decision in which the only time we fellowship with the Lord is on Sunday morning. Every moment of every day we are called to walk with Jesus and be transformed into His character and His nature.