Thursday, February 23, 2017

Take up Thy Cross – Part 2

Michael continues by explaining that in Luke 9, Jesus needed to separate the sheep from the goats. A true “Follower” is not one who is looking for self-aggrandizement or self-actualization. The true Followers are those who take up their cross daily and follow Jesus Christ. One man approached Jesus and said, "Lord, I'll follow you where ever you go." Jesus responded, "Foxes have holes and birds have nests, but the son of man has nowhere to lay his head." Jesus said to another man, "Follow me." The man replied, "First I have to go bury my father." In Luke 14, Jesus said, "If you do not hate your father and your mother, your wife and children, your sister and brother, and even your own life, you cannot be my disciple."  Jesus said that compared to loving me and putting me first in your life, whatever competes with your devotion to me, then you need to "hate" that thing in comparison to your love for me. You can't look back while plowing or you cannot plow a straight furrow. If you look back, you may fall into the ditch. As we carry out our “great commission”, as salt of the earth and as the children of light, our Lord's command is "focus steadfastly upon me." Our faith will be tested to discover what's really important. What is it that you put above your love for the Lord? God will put His hand on our family for a reason. God teaches us that He is merciful even when He doesn't give us what we think we want. 

When the doctors told one Pastor in the father's waiting room, "We're losing the baby's heartbeat," He went to God in prayer.  God said to Him, "How much control do you have over this situation?  "No matter the outcome of this trial, will you still dedicate your life to love and serve me?"  God was teaching Him that the one true thing is to dedicate your life to your Lord. The first and great commandment is "thou shalt have no other gods between your face and my face."  Not my will, but thine be done. When this same Pastor preached the first sermon to the Church on the day of Pentecost, the crowd noticed that He was not an educated man, but that he had been with Jesus. The power we have is in proximity with Lord God. In this world, all relationships end in pain and disappointment. However, with Jesus Christ, all relationships end in the hope of eternal life with our Lord. Whatever happens in this life, despite the pathologist's reports, God is merciful for all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose

In Luke chapter 9, Jesus prepared His true disciples how to be more than conquerors.  We need to kill the “casual Christian” inside of us. For I was crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ liveth in me and the life that I now live I life by the faith in the son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.

May God richly bless you!
Your brother in Christ, Michael

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