New International Version (NIV)
22 And he said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.”
23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.
English Standard Version (ESV)
20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
My pastor spoke on the meaning of taking up my cross and following Jesus. Guess what? It's not all about me! My cross is not my ailments, financial worries, a crummy job or relationship difficulties, it is denying myself for the sake of Christ. It's being willing to exchange my personal desires for the cause of Christ. It's about death to self. How far am I willing to follow my Lord? Can I let go of what I want in order to do so? Can I do so without making it a matter of personal pride, self aggrandizement of courageous suffering?
May it be so, Lord, may it be so.
Wherever He Leads I'll Go - Alan Jackson