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When I say, “I am a Christian”
I’m not shouting, “I’ve been saved

I’m whispering, “I get lost sometimes
that’s why I chose this way”

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I don’t speak with human pride

I’m confessing that I stumble -
needing God to be my guide

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I’m not trying to be strong

I’m professing that I’m weak
and pray for strength to carry on

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I’m not bragging of success

I’m admitting that I’ve failed
and cannot ever pay the debt

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I don’t think I know it all

I submit to my confusion
asking humbly to be taught

When I say, “I am a Christian”
I’m not claiming to be perfect

My flaws are far too visible
but God believes I’m worth it

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

If anyone, man or woman, wants to follow Jesus, to be his disciple (be a “Christian”), then he must do two things. He must “deny himself” and “take up his cross.” When Luke tells this same story, he clarifies that we are to take up our cross “daily” (Luke 9:23). What does this mean? To “deny” yourself means to say “No” to yourself and “Yes” to God. To say it differently, the process of denial is “to humbly submit my will to God.” It is to go through life repeating the words that Jesus said the night before he died. When he was praying in the garden, he said to God his Father, “Not my will but yours be done.” But what does it mean to “daily take up your cross”? The cross was a horrid symbol of pain, shame, and death. A person hung on it, naked, until his skeletal structure collapsed and he suffocated to death, without air and with his body drowning itself in its own fluids. Every day we are to live in such a way that it is apparent to everyone that we have died to ourselves, to our selfish ways and ambitions, and live for God. The key here is that we should daily take up our crosses, this means in class, at chapter, and during any party.  So ask yourself, “Do I deny myself and do I take up my cross daily?”

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