“And whoever does not take his cross
and follow me is not worthy of me”
Following Jesus without a cross is impossible. We must take this verse at face value. This is His estimation of a disciple. The Gospel of today does not mention such things. We now have a gospel that costs nothing, spoken in nice surroundings with gentle music playing in the background. It does not call us to obedience nor is it ministered with the unction and power of the Holy Spirit. There is no call to radical change and the immediate surrender of our WILL unto Him. Simply raise your hand while no one is looking, murmur a recited statement, go every Sunday to “church” and believe. A crossless gospel produces powerless adherents. The depth and power of the anointing is revealed in the fruit it produces.
“For the preaching of the cross
is to them that perish foolishness;
but unto us which are saved
it is the power of God”
1 CORINTHIANS 1:18
We hear much today about unanswered prayers and the inability to overcome the temptations and issues within our lives. THERE IS A CONNECTION; no Cross no Crown. If there is no dying to self, there can be no victory OVER self. We want all that God offers plus we want all that the world offers and wonder why nothing seems to work. Discipleship is the only way into HIS LIFE. A crossless gospel is a lifeless gospel. A crossless message leaves the human soul bound by the sorrows of sin and death even though it quotes the scriptures with all of its promises. When will we realize that the “promises of God are yeah and amen IN HIM”.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ,
he is a new creature”
2 CORINTHIANS 5:17
Where is this newness of Life? IN HIM. If I do not follow Him I will never find myself in HIM. They that are HIS love HIM, they that love HIM follow HIM, and they that follow HIM pick up and carry their cross. There is no other way. May HIS SPIRIT waken us from our slumber and our apathy. May we understand anew that complacency and comfort with this present world produces spiritual poverty that leads to sin and death.
The disciples on the Day of Pentecost were instantly transformed into flaming torches of glory and they counted the sufferings that came their way (because of their lives and the words they spoke) as a privilege and a blessing. Yet, in spite of the glory and the empowering they experienced, we read of that there is a pressing into and a “salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last day”! They did not consider that they had “arrived”. They were consumed with following and laying down their lives for the “excellency of KNOWING HIM”. If we cannot see we cannot follow. May the Lord give us eye salve that we may see more clearly. May HE save us from our apathy and contentment and birth afresh in us the HOLY FIRE of His Presence. May HE COME with a presence that turns us away from man’s way, that births within us a Holy repentance, and that leads us back to the way of the altar and the LOVE OF HIM. May the CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST ARISE AS A SPOTLESS BRIDE UNIFIED IN THE LOVE OF HIM where the pride and agendas of men have been crucified and we now live to bring Glory and Honor to Him and Him alone. May we see that the crowning work of His Grace in the Body of Christ is to culminate in the Bride speaking in perfect union the Words of the Spirit…
“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come”!