Take Up Your Cross
Mark 10:21 – Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
In the Mark passage in our Manna for Today, we can examine the precise Biblical requirements for the 100-fold reciprocity principle to come into full effect. It is truly simple, but so many people have their eyes on the return that they miss the journey to its revelation. The steps of that journey, of that walk with the Lord, are unveiled completely in our Text for Today. I encourage you to open you eyes to the simple truth.
Step one is to establish the amount the Lord wants you to give. In today’s case, it was all he had. Jesus told him to “sell whatsoever thou hast.” That meant everything. Step two is to determine where the Lord desires you to sow it. For this nameless rich young ruler, it was “to the poor.” Then we come to step three. For this rich young ruler, it was to “take up the cross, and follow Me (Jesus).”
Step one is just that; one step. Likewise, step two is just one step. Those two steps are not so difficult. If God desires you to sow a certain amount towards a particular work, He well knows how to convey that desire to you. It is step three where the work begins, for it is at step three that the walk begins. Jesus commanded the rich young ruler to follow Him. Jesus was never and never will be at a stand-still. He was and is always on the move; forward, onward, upward. Forward – He never turns back. Onward – He has an eternal destination. Upward – He always wants His people to grow up into Him.
One might say, “But Jesus said to take up the cross and follow Me.” And that is precisely what Jesus said, but the simple fact remains, you can’t follow someone by standing still. To follow someone requires movement in the direction the leader is going. In the simplest of terms, if I am following you, then we are traveling in the same direction, in the same way, accompanying each other. I am not tracking you from a distance. I am following you in close order, sharing the same route, eating and drinking together, conversing one with another, and seeing things from the same perspective. And if I “take up the cross” to follow someone, that means we share in the same work, the same burdens, the same battles, and the same blessings. It is the same blessings that Jesus called the 100-fold return. Take a walk.
Manna for Today – Psalm 1:1-6; 1 John 1:7-9; Daniel 3:1-30; Mark 10:17-31