Are You Compelled to Carry the Cross of Christ

As one who has worked with adolescents or preadolescents for nearly 30 years, peer pressure has been front and center in my life. In fact, from my childhood to adulthood, I saw that all people experience peer pressure. There are times in one’s life where the need to be accepted or to fit in compels him/her to do things that he/she would not ordinarily do. Then, there are times, albeit very rare, when a person is physically forced to do something that he or she would not do. It is a circumstance of being compelled to act. We will face two types of compulsion in our lives: being forced out of fear or being encouraged out of love. How will you live your life?

Are You Compelled to Carry the Cross of Christ? In the biblical account of Simon from Cyrene, Simon represents one who was forced to do something he had not planned. He was coming into town for the Passover, but to carry Jesus’ cross was never on his mind. While that is most assuredly true, God chose him to be the one to carry Jesus’ cross. He represents that person who seemingly gets involved in affairs that they never intended; yet, they live on through God involving them in the Father’s affairs.

Mark 15

21 A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross. 22 They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). 23 Then they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. 24 And they crucified him. Dividing up his clothes, they cast lots to see what each would get. crf

Are You Compelled to Carry the Cross of Christ? Truth be told, none of us, in and of ourselves, would choose anything related to serving God. Isaiah 53:6 proves it when God says, “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way;” As people, we do not choose God. He chooses us. Luke 10:22 says, “22 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.””

When He chooses you, the Word tells us the answer to Are You Compelled to Carry the Cross of Christ?  14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.” (2 Corinthians 5:14-15) This compulsion is different from being forced. It is more of an urging or impelling of our spirit by the Spirit of God. God’s love, through Christ’s sacrifice, moves the believer to action. In fact, it is the requirement as a follower of Christ to carry not Jesus’ cross but our own. In Mark 8:34 Jesus says, “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.

Because He gave us His all, He requires us to give Him our all. We must be willing to give up our lives for His just as He gave up His for our life. Are You Compelled to Carry the Cross of Christ?  Please consider these passages as you assess your response to that question.

1 Corinthians 9:25
Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.
Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.

We have to be mindful of what we are sacrificing for – eternal life and a life that is honoring and pleasing to God that results in His praise, glory and honor. We are sacrificing our lives, hopes, dreams, wants and desires to receive the crowns from God. Are You Compelled to Carry the Cross of Christ?  By the power and grace of God, I can say that I am willing and have carried my cross. Join me in our journey to carry our own crosses as we die to ourselves in this life for a greater life now and after this one.


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