Heroes Of The Cross, Parts 1&2


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Matthew 10:38-40 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. 39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. 40 He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.

Part 1, Heroes Of The Cross

During the Coronavirus Pandemic we as Americans are being told to voluntarily submit to house arrest in the name of good health. We are being selfish or greedy if we do not comply without question. We are to, without question, follow the direction of unelected bureaucrats and elected politicians, to hide ourselves one from another so as to save ourselves. We are racists, haters, and filthy capitalists if we do not comply.

During this Pandemic “I” am the most important thing. “I” must not get sick. “I” must go into hiding so that “I” will not infect other “I”s. If “I” infect other “I”s by my carelessness, then “I” am being selfish, or racist, or rude, or whatever. “I” must be a good citizen and, regardless of the economy, take care of “I”.

May I offer two other points of view: one view from a career Airman (now retired) of the United States Air Force, and another view from the Cross.

On Memorial Day we are supposed to remember those who died in active military service to our country. Those in the military give up their own freedoms in order to protect the nation. The military goes WHERE we are ordered WHEN we are ordered regardless as to how we FEEL. No questions are allowed. We worked in hazardous areas without regard for physical health. If we die for our country, this is called “doing our jobs”.

During this Pandemic I am seeing signs all about, celebrating “Heroes” who are working at risk so that our citizens can be fed and clothed. Once more, let’s focus on the “I”. This is the way of the world. For myself I am uncomfortable with the “Heroes” tag, as I never considered myself a “Hero” for doing my job. To fail to do my job as an Airman was cowardice. Every military person sees their lives as expendable for the greater good of the nation.

What does our message today have to do with the Pandemic, Memorial Day, and the “I”? Just as the military, along with other first responders, are to put themselves in harms way for the greater good, so does Jesus command every Christian to do the same. Jesus commands us to the Cross. It is the Cross that saves.

A Christian, just like a military man or woman, is expected by the Master to put themselves in harm’s way. We as Christians are not to hide in a basement lest we be harmed. Now, I am not advocating that we stubbornly refuse to wear masks or protective equipment. I have heard so much foolish talk about wearing or not wearing masks, or practicing safe distancing. Nearly every month that I was in the military we went through “Chemical Warfare Exercises” where I had to suit up and wear a full Chemical Warfare Ensemble like the one you see here. Imagine working in summertime in the 101 degree temperature of the aircraft tarmac tightly wrapped up, unable to feel even the slightest breeze of comfort. Imagine working on delicate aircraft electronics with your hands covered with thick, rubber, charcoal permeated, sweat soaked gloves. Imagine sweat running down your body into your boots, so much so that you squish when you walk. If there was a hell on earth we enjoyed it.

I, along with my comrades in blue, green, or gray would have rejoiced to wear a flimsy cotton mask as the President is requesting we wear today.

Beloved, we need to take precautions – but we do not need to hide. Christians in particular must NOT hide. We are told in 2 Timothy 1:7 that God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. If you are a Christian you were left on this earth to do what Jesus said. Listen to Him:

Matthew 10:38 And he that taketh not HIS CROSS, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

The Christian is commanded not to hide from suffering, but to chase after suffering. We are commanded of Christ to “take up your Cross, and follow Jesus”. There are some who say “you can be saved and NOT follow Jesus”. I don’t think so. I think Jesus is quite plain – in fact, the New Testament is quite plain.

Salvation is a free gift from God, but once you receive it you are expected by Jesus to follow Jesus. “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men”. Take up YOUR Cross and follow YOUR Jesus. The Christian does not live for “I” but for the Master and the greater good.

John Stonestreet wrote in the article Pandemic or No, We Must Live Out Our Faith: We … are called to live out our faith in the middle of this culture, in our communities, where we work, seeing every area of life and every culture as the mission field to which we are called.”

Jesus Went To The Cross FIRST For You

Matthew 10:38 … he that taketh not his cross, and FOLLOWETH AFTER ME, is not worthy of me.

What does the Cross look like?

It surprised me as I studied the various commentaries that not all Christians agree with what the Cross looks like. The word translated “Cross” is the Greek σταυρός staurós, (pronounced stow-ros’). Though this word is translated “Cross” in our Bibles, in ancient Greek literature, such as the writings of Homer, Herodotus, Thucydides, or Xenophon, the word staurós is used for “an upright stake or pole, often pointed, such as used in fences or palisades” (see Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words for full treatment). Based on its usage some believe the Cross to look like the traditional “t” that you see behind the pulpits of many Church buildings. Some have suggested that the Romans buried heavy, upright beams in Golgotha. The convicted criminal then carried the horizontal member to his execution. Ropes were passed over the stake, and affixed to the horizontal member, and the criminal was raised up. Some believe the original “Cross” to be not “t” shaped but “T” shaped. We really don’t know. We do know this.

The Cross is a place of SELF denial.
The Cross is a place of SUFFERING.
The Cross is a place of SELF SACRIFICE.
The Cross is the place our SAVIOR went for us.
Without the Cross not one of us would be SAVED.

You have heard me say repeatedly over the last 7 or so years that we are all sinners in need of the Savior. Though I have said this, and continue to say this, it rolls over many of you like water over rock. The Cross is so very necessary because of the Nature of sin. Sin is a horrible offense against an Eternal God.

The serpent in Eden (representative of the devil – see Revelation 12:9; 20:2) misrepresented sin as but a small thing. “Has God really said you cannot eat the fruit of every tree in this Garden? Though God said you would die if you eat of it, you really won’t die. As a matter of fact, if you go ahead and eat what He has forbidden you will be like gods, knowing good and evil. Go ahead. Pleasure yourself! Eat! (Genesis 3:1-5, my paraphrase). The devil has been selling this from the beginning of time. The Cross is optional. Not even Jesus needs to go to the Cross. Avoid that place of suffering, and wait on Heaven. But what does the Scripture say? What did God say?

Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Oh, the devil loves to minimize sin. Oh, the world loves to minimize sin. Yet God makes much of sin.

… SIN hath reigned unto DEATH (Romans 5:21)

Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of SIN unto DEATH, or of obedience unto righteousness? (Romans 6:16)

… the wages of SIN is DEATH (Romans 6:23)

For when we were in the flesh, the motions of SINS, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto DEATH. (Romans 7:5)

Sin is an affront to an Eternally
Holy and Righteous God.

Sin is a slap in God’s face. Pastor Steven J. Cole writes in his article The Meaning Of The Cross:

“That God sent Christ to bear our sins means that God does not just shrug off our sin. We live in a day of loose justice at best. People commit horrible crimes and get off with a slap on the wrist. A man admits to sexually molesting, killing and dismembering numerous boys, but pleads insanity and will likely end up spending some time in a mental ward. We all know that that is not justice.

Yet I talk to people all the time, many of them Christians, who think that God’s justice is like that. They shrug off sin as if it’s no big deal to God. They think He will just overlook it. But the Bible is very clear: All sin must be judged! Either your sin is on you and you will bear the penalty; or your sin is on Christ who bore the penalty. Either way, God does not take sin lightly! The just penalty must be paid.”

Sin is a debt that we could not pay. This is why Jesus had to go to the Cross. Sin is an affront to God.

I remember quite often the story of David, a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22). One day King David minimized sin, and took another man’s wife to be his own. When the Prophet Nathan was sent from God to David in 2 Samuel 12 God condemned him, saying:

2 Samuel 12:9 Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon.

David repented of his sin. What did David say?

2 Samuel 12:13 … I have sinned against the Lord…

David would recount this time later in the Book of Psalms when he writes:

Psalm 51:1-4 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. 4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight

Sin is an affront to God FIRST. Yes, sin hurts others. But only God can forgive sin. Only God can cover our sins. We cannot do penance. We cannot correct our transgressions, our offenses. Even if we promise God we will stop and not do it again, every act of sin is a slap in the Immortal’s face.

Hence the Cross. Jesus introduces the Cross for the first time in Matthew 10, but this is not the only time He will do so. Just 6 chapters later Jesus is telling His disciples that He had to go to the Cross. Turn with me to the text.

Matthew 16:21 From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he MUST go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.

Jesus MUST go to Jerusalem at Passover.
Jesus IS the Lamb of God that takes away our sins (John 1:29).
Jesus MUST suffer under the hands of religion.
Jesus MUST be killed.
Jesus MUST rise on the third day.
Jesus MUST!

But when Peter hears this, he responds like most of the world does. Peter says:

Matthew 16:22 Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: THIS SHALL NOT BE UNTO THEE.

When Jesus heard these words, He was not pleased at Peter’s care for His well being. On the contrary, Jesus REBUKED Peter, saying:

Matthew 16:23 …. GET THEE BEHIND ME, SATAN: thou art an offense unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

It is satan that tells humanity “you can pay for your sin”. It is satan that says “the Cross is optional”. It is satan that tells us “Take care of yourself. Make the world all about YOU. Live for YOU. And one day YOU will died, and go to Heaven, where there is more of YOU”. That is devilish. That is serpentine. That is the whisper of the Garden of Eden.

Pastor Patrick Schreiner wrote in his article 10 Things You Should Know About The Cross:

“A Bible without a cross is a Bible without a climax, a Bible without an ending, a Bible without a solution. The spiral of sin that began in Genesis 3 must be stopped; the death of Jesus terminates the downward spiral. In Jesus’s body, he took on the sin of the world and paid the price of all humanity. At the cross the new Adam, Abraham, Moses, David arises to create a new humanity, family, and kingdom. That is why Paul doesn’t say he decided to knowing nothing except the incarnation, resurrection, or the ascension of Jesus, but the nothing except Jesus Christ and him crucified (1 Cor. 2:2). Wisdom was found not beyond the cross, not above the cross, not below the cross, but in the cross.”

The Lord’s Table Is A Picture Of The Cross

Matthew 10:38-39 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. 39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

The Cross is a place where you lose your life for God’s sake. Those who will not go to the Cross cannot be saved.
The Cross is self sacrifice. The Cross is salvation.

On the night prior to Jesus’ sacrifice on Calvary, He enjoyed the Passover Meal with His disciples. As the meal came to a close, Jesus told His disciples:

Luke 22:15 …. With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer:

Jesus will, in just a few hours, suffer on the Cross of Calvary. To illustrate the suffering of the Cross the Bible says:

Luke 22:19 {Jesus} took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.

Jesus was not forced to take this bread. The Feast of the Passover was over.

Jesus voluntarily took this bread.
Jesus thankfully took this bread.
Jesus Himself willingly broke – not cut, mind you, but broke the bread.

The Cross is a place where Jesus gave up His self, as the Father called Him to do. Jesus suffered on that Cross. His Body was broken on that Cross. When we go to the Cross, our self is broken. Though Jesus went willingly, He would have done something else, if possible, to save us. The Cross is not a happy place, but a saving place. The Scripture that Jesus prayed in Gethsemane:

Luke 22:42-44 Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. 43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. 44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

Jesus knew what was coming. He Who is Eternal God in human flesh knew that He would be beaten, bruised, mocked, shamed. Jesus knew that He would – as the Passover Lamb of God – be nailed to that Cross. He went anyway. After giving His disciples the broken Bread – representing Jesus’ body – Jesus gave them the Cup:

Luke 22:20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

A New Covenant – not a Covenant of Law but a Covenant of Love – is put in place by the sacrifice of Christ. His Body had to be broken, and His Blood then spilled, so that we who receive Him as Lord and Savior can be saved.

You cannot have salvation without self denial.
You cannot have salvation without the Cross.

A young man came to Jesus one day, and asked Jesus:

Mark 10:17 … Good Master, WHAT SHALL I DO that I may inherit eternal life?

How can you get “eternal life”? How can you become a son of God? You must do as the Son of God did. You must lay down your self, and pick up the Cross.

Laying down self means believing what God has said in His Word. Jesus told this young man:

Mark 10:19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.

Do what God says. Heed His commandments. When the young man said “I have done all these things from the time I was a child”, the Bible says:

Mark 10:21-22 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. 22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.

Jesus beholds you, and loves you. Do you wish eternal life? Then you must deny yourself. If your self worth is in your possessions then, like this young man, lay these things down at the feet of Jesus. If your self worth is in your beauty, or your brilliance, or whatever, lay this down. Give it to God. Then “come, take up the Cross, and follow Jesus”. God does not compel this, but He does command it. If you are saved, you will take up His Cross, and follow Him.

Let us partake of His Table. This message will continue tonight.

Part Two, Heroes Of The Cross

Matthew 10:38-40 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. 39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. 40 He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.

Saved By The Cross,
We Are Commanded To The Cross

Matthew 10:5 … Jesus sent forth, and commanded them

Matthew 10:38 … he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

To “take up the Cross” is not a suggestion, but a command. It is not optional. It is something every Christian is called to do.

We share the Cross with Christ. If we are saved, we follow Jesus to the Cross.

Matthew 10:38 … he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

The Cross is not a place of pleasure, but it is a place of self denial. It is not a happy place. People are content to follow Jesus to Heaven, but are not so happy to follow Jesus to the Cross. Yet we must all go to the Cross.

The Cross Is A Denial Of Self

Jesus introduced the Cross on Chapter Ten. Pastor Patrick Schreiner wrote:

The Cross is not only where our sin is paid for, where the devil is conquered, but the shape of Christianity.

Because the Cross is God’s means of salvation and God’s method of life, it will be hated by the world. Jesus said:

Matthew 10:17-20 … beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; 18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. 19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. 20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.

Jesus wanted us to know that we who are saved by the Cross will be despised by the world. The religious world will despise the Christ follower. Religion focuses on ritual, on looking good, on looking outwardly “righteous”, but has no inner love. Religion is the Church elder who, dressed up in a suit, shuns the visitor in shabby apparel or with unkempt hair. Religion says “I love you” but shows no hospitality to others.

Religion focuses on the “I”.
The Christ follower focuses on the Cross.

If you belong to Jesus, you are to do as He did. We are told in:

1 John 3:13-16 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. 14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. 15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. 16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

The Cross is not optional, but it is a place of self sacrifice. Jesus went willingly to the Cross, and we who are his are commanded to go willingly to the Cross. The Cross is a command. We lay our lives down for Christ daily. The Cross is self denial, just as our Lord did. Jesus told us:

Matthew 16:24-26 … Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, LET HIM DENY HIMSELF, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

To “come after Jesus” requires the Cross. You must “deny yourself”. Deny pleasures, and worldliness. Deny the excesses of this world. “Deny yourself”. The Cross is a place where self goes to die. Jesus went to the Cross to pay for our sins. Did Jesus want to go to the Cross? He was willing. Oh, He was willing. He loved us that much. Jesus willingly laid His life down for us, saying:

John 10:18 No man taketh {my life} from me, but I lay it down of myself.

God loved us, and gave Himself for us.

1 John 4:10-11 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

The Cross is what Jesus did for us before we ever knew Him. The Cross is what we do for all others whether they appreciate it or not. We love as Jesus loved. We do not live in darkness as the world does, but let the light of Christ, a self sacrificing light, shine through us. The Cross we are called to carry is a DAILY Cross:

Luke 9:23-24 And {Jesus} said to them ALL, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his Cross DAILY, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.

The Cross is a daily thing we are to pick up. The Cross – which is the death of self – must be picked up every single day. The world lives for self – the Christ child lives to die. The Cross is not where the world or the worldly is or wants to be. The world thinks the Cross is foolish, stupid.

The World Hates The Cross – Carry It Anyway

Matthew 10:21-22 And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. 22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

Jesus knew that His radical way of life – the Light of the world – would be misunderstood to those enslaved to self and self satisfaction. Jesus knew that what He advocated would cause divisions in families, that the Christ follower would be hated. Jesus did not sugar coat what He told us. Light is despised by darkness. When the Apostle Paul went out preaching the Cross of Christ, he knew that the message would not be well received. He wrote:

1 Corinthians 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

The Pharisees and Sadducees hated Jesus for what He stood for. The politicians, the Herodians, they hated Jesus for what He stood for. They slandered Jesus. Some called Jesus the son of a whore, a bastard born out of wedlock. Others accused our Lord of being empowered by satan. Jesus said:

Matthew 10:24-28 The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his Lord. 25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household? 26 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. 27 What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. 28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Jesus did not allow fear to guide Him as He moved toward Calvary. Jesus tells us Who love Him to look unto Jesus, to follow Jesus toward the Cross daily. This message has been perverted in the American Church for the last 50 or so years. It is time that we cease heeding the world. Christians, for the most part, have just as high a divorce rate as do the unbelievers. Christians, for the most part, have just as high a suicide rate as the unbelievers.

My brothers and sisters, it must cease being so. The Cross we are called to is a place of willing self denial. It is the same place our Master went – and where we MUST go if we are children of the Most High God. Jesus said:

Luke 14:27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, CANNOT BE MY DISCIPLE.

The Cross is about giving of yourself, not about taking. Christianity is not about getting, but giving. We give our lives to God so that God can give His life to us. We are called to self sacrifice. But the world does not understand this.

Three Crosses On Calvary

Consider the world at that Hill called Calvary. There are three crosses on Calvary. On that center Cross is an innocent Man. Pilate asked:

Mark 15:12 What will ye then that I shall do unto him {this Jesus} whom ye call the King of the Jews?

The world cries out, “Crucify Him!”. Pilate asks, “Why? What evil what evil hath He done?” (Mark 15). The world cries out, “Crucify Him!”. The angels in Heaven look to the Throne of God. What will the Father do? Surely He will stop this travesty. But the Father says nothing. There they lay Jesus down on the cold wood beam. The ring of a hammer on steel. Bones do not break, but the hardened steel pushes its way into flesh and into wood. The Son does not cry. Then He is lifted upward. Muscle, flesh, and sinew strain around the spikes. Blood oozes from the cuts in His flesh from the whip. The crown of thorns on His head make His head feel as heavy as an anvil. He can barely hold His head up.

This is what love looks like.

The thief on Christ’s left is like the world in suffering. This thief chased money his whole life. He had been spared death before this, but the other night he invaded a home to feed his habit. He found a little old lady, barely existing on her meager stipend. He murdered her for the few coins she had, blast her hide! This thief cries out to Jesus:

Luke 23:39 … If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.

Get Yourself down, Jesus, and then save us. This thief was not alone in telling Jesus to shun the Cross. The Bible says that those who passed by – the amused spectators, they told Jesus:

Mark 15:30 Save yourself, and come down from that Cross.

Surely there were no others? But yes, there was. We see the religious crowd, the non-denominational and denominational “holier than thou” bunch.

Mark 15:31-32 … He saved others; himself he cannot save. 32 Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe. ….

I’ve heard this cry many times throughout this Pandemic. “If there is a God, a Jesus, let Him cure this Pandemic so we can go back to the “I”. “I” matter. Get me down from this Cross, or I will not believe in You, Jesus!

But Jesus could not come down from the Cross if we were going to be saved.

Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other {than Jesus Christ crucified}: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Oh that God would touch more hearts! Oh that the worldling would wake up and ask, “What MUST I DO to BE SAVED?” (Acts 16:30). What indeed?

Acts 16:31 Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

No, dear Thief on the Left. Jesus cannot come down.
No, dear Spectator. Jesus cannot leave that place of torment.
No, Religious and Politically Correct person. Jesus must stay.

If He comes down, we are all damned forever. But there is one other voice on Calvary. This one is the minority, not the crowd. You can barely hear his voice – but it was heard, and was recorded by God Almighty. This thief on the right of Christ whispers:

Luke 23:42 … Lord, remember me when thou
comest into thy kingdom

Christian, this is who we are to be. We are to be like this thief on the right, this thief who follows his Lord to Calvary. It is Calvary that gives life. It is the Cross that teaches us how to live. The world hates the Cross, but the Cross is not only our salvation dear believer – it is also our way of life. The Cross is where we boast with the Apostle:

Galatians 6:14 God forbid that I should glory, save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

A Cross-less Christianity Is A Christ-less Cult

Matthew 10:36-39 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. 37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. 39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

The Cross and Christ must mean more to us than even our own families. Without the Cross we have no hope of salvation. But if we love Jesus, if we take up His Cross daily and follow Him, come what may, the love we have for Him will attract our loved ones. One Pastor, Brian Tabb, put it this way:

“Christians suffer in hope. We pray not only, “How Long, O Lord?” but also, “Come, Lord Jesus!” He suffered to ransom us from our sins and reconcile us to God, and his resurrection is the first installment of the restoration of all things. We may still ask why when our bodies hurt and our hearts ache. We may wonder when God will make all things new. But we remember who suffered in our stead to secure our salvation. And until Christ returns, we follow our Servant King on the road to Calvary.”

I am not ashamed of His Cross. Beloved, we must follow our Master! May Jesus Christ touch your hearts through His Word and His Spirit. Amen and Amen.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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