“Take up your cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23). What comes to your mind when Jesus says these words? How about one word: death. 

The crucified life is a life absolutely committed to following hard after Jesus. We do this in part by mortifying the deeds of the flesh. As contradictory as it sounds, the life of Christ flows through us to the extent that we die to self and our selfish ways. 

Taking up our cross is something we must do daily, which means there’s no once-for-all fix to our striving against the world, the flesh and the devil. As Christians, our identification with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the answer to every struggle we face. 

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