Thursday, June 16, 2011

C r o s s

Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at 10:37pm
'We are bid to take, not make our Cross.' William Gurnall
I had to read that twice.

What a powerful and succinct quote referring to Jesus telling the disciples, 'If any man will come after me, let him DENY HIMSELF, and TAKE UP HIS CROSS, and follow Me.' Matthew 16:24

We are bid to take, not MAKE our cross! Yet the latter rings true for many of us today. Or worse, the very idea that Jesus told his disciples to deny themselves and take up their cross might have not even crossed our minds! Or maybe we know, but we choose to avoid the prospect.

Yet Jesus said, 'Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.' Matthew 16:25

What a paradox! It is hard for our puny minds to grasp it. Even if we fathom the concept for a moment, it fades from our understanding the moment we begin living our daily life. That is our cross. To deny ourselves our selfish desires, and to seek out and do the will of God. To do the right thing, the thing that we each find most difficult to do. One of the things for me is learning patience. It sounds all very chaste, almost austere, but I think the point we begin to make a daily habit to take up our cross, we find our true identity in Christ Jesus and our true destiny & purpose! Apart from God, our achievements and dreams are nothing but a momentary candle burning, which will soon be extinguished. And our efforts lead us nowhere closer to the purpose for which we were placed where we are.

Do not deceive ourselves to think that we can make up what we decide our cross to be. Often we will make the mistake of choosing what is convenient and easy. That which costs us nothing cannot be offered to God. Not that God needs our petty givings, but He only desires to form in us a pure heart, a giving and genuinely committed spirit. Hah! Easier said than done.

Nevertheless, we are not supposed to become a hermit and try to do this alone! If we think we can bear the cross by our human strength, we deceive ourselves. Only by the grace of God can you and I deny ourselves and take up our cross to follow Jesus. It all sounds very grand, but in daily life its less conspicuous, I imagine.

So yes, it is only by the grace of God and by the measure of faith that He provides that we are able. Without Him, we can do nothing.

'I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.' Phillippians 4:13

Not things that pleases me to do, not what is convenient at the time, but the things that are pleasing in God's sight and the things that are His will for me. Then I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

Carpe diem,
Janielle =)

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