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Take Up Your Cross And...
We need to understand that just saying a prayer to receive Jesus is not enough: we must become followers of Christ. He teaches us to follow Him. We must take up our cross.
“Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?’ ” (Matthew 16:24-26).
Bearing a cross meant one was about to die, and they would have faced ridicule and disgrace along the way. Therefore, Jesus is challenging us to fully commit to our faith and embrace the sacrifices and hardships that come with being a true follower of Christ. This commitment goes beyond simply saying a prayer or acknowledging Jesus as Lord. It involves surrendering our wills, our desires, and our very lives to Him, letting go of our worldly concerns and selfish ambitions in order to prioritize His kingdom and righteousness.
As we follow Jesus, we can expect to face various trials, persecution, and even ridicule from those who do not share our faith. Embracing the cross means being willing to endure these difficulties and stand firm in our beliefs, even when it's not popular or convenient. It's about recognizing the eternal value of our souls and putting our trust in God's promises, rather than seeking fleeting pleasures or material success. This level of discipleship requires steadfastness and perseverance, but it ultimately leads to a deeper relationship with Christ and a more meaningful, purposeful life.
Jesus' words in Matthew 16:24-26 serve as a powerful reminder of the importance of wholehearted devotion to our faith. We must be willing to let go of our own desires and plans, and fully embrace the life that God has called us to. Only by giving up our lives for His sake, can we truly experience the abundant life and eternal salvation that He offers.
As followers of Christ, let us strive to carry our cross daily, embracing the challenges and sacrifices it entails, knowing that the rewards far outweigh the costs.
Just a thought,
Published on Monday, March 20, 2023 @ 7:14 AM MDT
The Heart of God
Have you ever thought about what God cares about, what He wants from us?
God’s heart is for people (2 Peter 3:9). He desires that none should perish, but all come to repentance. He tells us continually to reach the lost, get people saved, make disciples, and teach people what His word says. This is what God is passionate about — healing people from their brokenness. But how can He do that if they don’t know or realize they are broken?
The world accepts everything, even thinking up more ways to be evil. So, it’s our responsibility to reach the lost, tell them of the goodness of God. He wants us to have urgency in sharing our faith and reaching people with the gospel. It’s what we are to do, not to cater to people’s feelings but let them know the truth. Why? So that people can make an informed decision about God, about Jesus.
Reaching the lost:
Penn Jillette said, “How much do you have to hate somebody not to proselytize [them]?” If we believe in heaven and hell, we should not care about what people think of us or how upset they may become for our telling them about it. It gives God something to work with.
Let’s get passionate about what God is passionate about — the lost!
Just a thought,
Published on Monday, March 13, 2023 @ 10:37 AM MDT
God Is Hope
Hope is defined as a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.
We serve a God who is able to do abundantly above all we could ask or think (Ephesians 3:20). He is also the God of the impossible (Matthew 19:26). If we would ever believe that, we would never be hopeless. I heard a preacher say we don’t need to be hopeful if we are hope filled.
God is hope: He doesn’t have hope; He is hope. We need to hang onto hope so we don’t ever become hopeless. We have to work in this very dark, ungodly world to continue to hope, even through our worst moments, our worst days, and our worst mistakes! God is a God of hope. We need to possess hope. The Bible says hope deferred (put off) makes the heart sick (Proverbs 13:12).
There is always a choice to hope, to see light at the end of the tunnel. So, we can’t afford to have our hope deferred, put off, cast off. In fact, faith is the substance of things hoped for. We please God by our faith, by believing Him and His word. So, no matter what you are facing or what you have done, there is hope.
So, let’s continue to have expectations that our circumstances can get better.
Just a thought,
Published on Monday, March 6, 2023 @ 9:42 AM MDT
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