Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Take Up Your Cross

Religion teaches blessings and cursings, but contrary to what religion teaches, Jesus taught his followers to take up the cross and follow Him. The cross is a symbol of suffering and following Christ is a life of suffering; not suffering for the bad choices we make, but suffering in Christ, because our life is in Christ. Those who live outside the United States, in hostile nations are familiar with this suffering.

In addition, the cross also symbolizes suffering with others who are sick, grieving and traveling through the valley of the shadow of death. Those who believe in the religious teaching of blessings and cursings, are setting themselves up for failed expectations. The moment something doesn't work out the way the one who believes in this teaching thought it should work out, is the moment that this one begins to doubt. They might go back and try to figure out what went wrong. They might then decide to work harder at "getting it right." After all their attempts at getting it right fail, they might then begin to question God and ask, "Why are you letting these bad things happen to me?"

The truth is God is sovereign and becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ is committing to a life of suffering. Jesus said, "And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple" (Luke 14:27 NKJV). Why would one commit to a life of suffering? In the words of the Apostle Paul, "For I consider the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us" (Rom. 8:18 NKJV). 

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