Thursday, April 24, 2014

In Christ - I am crucified with Christ

I am crucified with Christ...

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me. 

Your Cross
Morning & Evening
Charles H Spurgeon/Alistair Begg
April 5

Laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus.
Luke 23:26

“We see in Simon's carrying the cross a picture of the work of the church throughout all generations; she is the cross-bearer after Jesus. Notice, Christian, that Jesus does not suffer so as to prevent your suffering. He bears a cross, not that you may escape it, but that you may endure it. Christ exempts you from sin, but not from sorrow. Remember that, and expect to suffer. But let us comfort ourselves with this thought, that in our case, as in Simon's, it is not our cross but Christ's cross that we carry. When you are persecuted for your piety, when your faith is the occasion of cruel jokes, then remember it is not your cross, it is Christ's cross; and what a privilege it is to carry the cross of our Lord Jesus!

“You carry the cross after Him. You have blessed company; your path is marked with the footprints of your Lord. The mark of His blood-red shoulder is upon that heavy burden. It is His cross, and He goes before you as a shepherd goes before his sheep. Take up your cross daily, and follow Him.

“Do not forget, also, that you bear this cross in partnership. It is the opinion of some that Simon only carried one end of the cross, and not the whole of it. That is very possible. Christ may have carried the heavier part, against the transverse beam, and Simon may have borne the lighter end. Certainly that is the case with you; you only carry the light end of the cross Christ bore the heavier end.

“And remember, though Simon had to bear the cross for only a short while, it gave him lasting honor. Even so, the cross we carry is only for a little while at most, and then we shall receive the crown, the glory. Surely we should love the cross and, instead of shrinking from it, count it very dear, for it works out for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.”

It seems like lately I’m hearing about more and more churches who are getting involved with the “feel good” movement – if it’s exciting – “sparkly” – emotional – uplifting – fun – new – it’s making its way into the church.  There’s little talk of the cross of Christ – and the fact that we are to be crucified with Him – daily.  Crucifixion was – and is – excruciatingly painful – there was nothing fun about it – it wasn’t exciting – it didn’t “feel good.”  I guess it’s human nature to want to avoid pain at all costs – but by focusing on the glitz, glamour and “sparkly” we’re depriving ourselves of what we need for growth. I’ve learned the hard way that you can kill a plant with kindness just as easily as you can kill it with neglect – the end result either way is a dead plant.  There are times when I have to go out and make deep cuts in my plants – I have to feed them – water them – and sometimes even dose them with a bit of poison – so that they can grow larger, healthier and stronger.  If all I give my plants is water – and lots of it – if I never prune, trim and clean – then they’re going to suffer, and their growth will be stunted.  SO – Believer – are you out looking for the “fun” and the exciting – or are you out looking for a way to grow?  If growth is what you want, then crucifixion is what you need.  Don’t be afraid to suffer for Jesus – He’s right there with you – He’s gone before you – and He will help you carry your cross all the way to the finish line!

Sharon Pearce, Director
Silent Voices International
355 K Street, Suite H
Chula Vista,  CA  91911

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