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Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone desires to be My disciple, let him deny himself [disregard, lose sight of, and forget himself and his own interests] and take up his cross and follow Me cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying, also].

For whoever is bent on saving his [temporal] life [his comfort and security here] shall lose it [eternal life]; and whoever loses his life [his comfort and security here] for My sake shall find it [life everlasting]. Matthew 16:24-25 (Amplified Bible)

Tough words. Especially because of much of the teaching that goes on around in Christian circles today. In many churches it’s all about receiving a blessing and because Christ suffered for you, you don’t have to suffer. What a lie from hell. In Christ we have no choice. In order to live we must die because it’s in the dying we live. We must die to all our desires. All the things we want to do. Every passion and every longing has to die. Every single thing that would try to raise it’s self in importance over Christ has to perish.

You see it’s not about you and your comfort or your lack thereof. It’s all about Jesus and bringing His love to this lost and dying world. And yet we worry over such trivial things. We try to meet needs that Christ said He would fill. In the early days of the church the believer’s focus was not on the pleasures of this world but on the promise of the life that awaited them after this short life was over. The realization that eternity with Christ meant much more than this blink of an eye could ever matter.

Jesus promised that if we would obey Him He would take care of our every need. He said in Matthew 6:25-34

Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?  Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? 
“So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;  and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 
“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

What Christ asks of you is that you live for Him and not this world. A life that is surrendered to Him shines brightest in this dark world. Our every waking moment and thought should be on Christ and winning the lost to Him. 

Some of us want heaven on earth. It’s not going to happen. The bible makes it very clear that because He suffered, you will suffer as well. This world will hate and despise you as much as it did Him. Many of us when we suffer we say; "Why me?" Why not you? Are you greater then Christ? Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18;

Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

I have suffered a lot in my life and so many of you have suffered as well and yet all that we have suffered is nothing compared to what our Saviour suffered for us. We have nothing to complain about. Our hope my brothers and sisters is in Christ alone and if the path that He choses for us to follow is one of suffering for His name, then we should gladly follow. What awaits us is beyond our imagination. Think today on heaven and the New Jerusalem, your true home. Daddy’s waiting there to take you in His arms.

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Comments on: "Take Up Your Cross (It’s Not About You!)" (4)

  1. Just stopping by to say hello and to read your post…You know I have learned something these past years about this very thing…and that is that in accepting and receiving whatever the Father wills (or allows) into my life, it becomes my blessing.  To many that will not make sense but for those who have gone deep with the Savior they will totally understand this kind of fellowship we have with him. I could have never known His love, His mercy and His grace in my life without having gone through the fire. 
    That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;  Philippians 3:10And I would have never been witness to the powerful and great things He has wrought in my life as a result of it. My faith has grown to the point that just as the song says "things of earth will grow strangely dim".  And this becomes my testimony, glorifying the Father because of the suffering not in spite of.Grace to you, brother.Shell

  2. I\’m having a little bit of a problem with "we must die to all our desires…all the things we want to do…every passion and every longing has to die". Jesus said, "I came that ye might have life and more abundantly." I think what is required is that the passion you have for living the Christian life, loving Christ, talking about Christ must exceed your own desires but certainly not replace all of them. Not everyone is required to live a poured out, emptied out existance in order to be a witness for him. This is for those who are placed in the authority of delivering the message from a pulpit. Others are called to deliver his message from right where they are at- work, play or rest.
                 Good message though.    Come check out my site sometime. I put a great message up for Christmas you might appreciate.
                                                         Lots of love through Christ!    Evelyn , The Castle Lady

  3. Hi Gerry,
     
    Just dropping by to say hi. Great Post today. Thanks for sharing. You have said it well. I appreciate the text you shared from both Matthew 6 & 2 Corinthians 4. Another text comes to mind that only re-inforces what you have been saying here. This one has always encouraged my heart. I hope it encourages your heart also.
     
    It is found in Revelation 2:10: Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer; indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. The key word here is "faithful" that we His children would remain faithful! 
     
    Yes we all will go through trials and testings, I only know too well, I had a work accident in 1993 which has left me in a wheelchair  with Central Nervous  System damage and Nerve Pain. In spite of that my disability has taught me much, I have grown and become a stronger person because of my accident, today I work for the Lord in spreading the Gospel wherever I can and tell about my God\’s Grace being sufficient for me. Indeed He is Jehovah Jireh, my Provider!
     
    The key word here is that we remain faithful in whatever we face. Indeed you have said it well, what awaits us is beyond our imagination. Another scripture I would like to close with here is found in Matthew 25:23a-b: "Well done good and faithful servant…….enter into the joy of your Lord… I have taken the 1st part and the latter portion of that text to share the theme here, the Lord was telling the servant that because he was faithful in those things he would enter into the joy of His Lord….
     
    That is my desire, as I\’m sure it is your desire also…that we would "remain faithful". Indeed what a rich reward we will have…We will meet our Lord Jesus Christ face to face in glory, there is nothing here on earth that can compare with that…Amen!  PTL… Indeed Our Daddy, Abba Father is waiting for us to gather us up into His Arms of Love! What a day that will be… God Bless you Gerry for being God\’s Hand extended & being a "Bold Witness" for the Kingdom of God.
     
    God\’s Blessings, Your Friend & Sister in Christ, Judith

  4. Ciao Gerry,Just stopping in for a quick visit and to say Hi.We are finally all moved into our new apartment now… and all settled. Keeping you in my prayers.God Bless YouHugs & KissesKiss*…….*Kiss* *Kiss*…..*Kiss* *Kiss*…*Kiss* *Kiss**Kiss* *Kiss*…*Kiss* *Kiss*…..*Kiss* *Kiss*…….*Kiss* *Kiss*………*Kiss* ……..*Kiss* ……..*Kiss* ……..*Kiss* ……..*Kiss* ……..*Kiss* ……..*Kiss* ……..*Kiss* ……..*Kiss* ……..*Kiss* ………*Kiss* …*Kiss*…*Kiss* .*Kiss*…….*Kiss* …*Kiss*……*Kiss* ……*Kiss* ………..*Kiss* *Kiss*……*Kiss* .*Kiss*…….*Kiss* …*Kiss*…*Kiss* ………*Kiss* ………*Kiss* …*Kiss*…*Kiss* .*Kiss*…….*Kiss* …*Kiss*……*Kiss* ……*Kiss* ………..*Kiss* *Kiss*……*Kiss* .*Kiss*…….*Kiss* …*Kiss*…*Kiss* ´´´´´´´(¯`v´¯)´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´`*.¸.*´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´¸.•´¸.•*¨) ¸.•*¨)´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´(¸.•´ (¸.•´ .•´ ¸¸.•¨¯`•´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´Hugs & Kisses´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´Love´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´Shelley´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´´xXx´´´´´´´´´

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