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Do You Take-up A Cross?
by Olawale Ogunsola
5/09/2015 / Christian Living
Among followers of Christ Jesus,the words "You must take up your cross." are a conmon statement. So, anything negative is acceptable by many believers as a "cross". They hinge their statement of belief on Jesus instruction contained in the Gospel according to Matthew 16:24,
"If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me." NKJV.
Should carrying a cross means bearing ALL NEGATIVE EXPERIENCES?
Should this be so?
Note that Jesus does not speak of "crosses" in the quoted verse but "his cross". This is singular.
This reminds me of what four sad Ministers said one day in February 2015. They all lamented on their wives' behavioral patterns that cause them sorrow in different ways.
After their "song of sorrow", I asked them,
"Did you involve God in your choice of a marrriage partner?"
Without any argument and in unison, they chorused,
"I did not involve Him."
They said individually that it was their cross to live in sadness with their wives forever because that was how God planned it.
Is this true?
The question now is "Is it their cross?" Can they charge God with giving them a burden to carry for the rest of their lives through the women they married?
God cannot be held responsible for their plight. It is a self.designed "cross" to bear.
God has many ways of dealing with His own people. Speaking of such dealings, Job declared when he was going through his trouble,
"For He performs what is appointed for me,
And many such things are with Him." Job 23:14 (KJV)
This indicates that each of God's people has his own cross to carry as appointed by Him. When He doles out a cross, He gives the ability to bear it without much stress.
" No temptation (or cross)" has overtaken you except such as is conmon to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it." 1 Corinthians 10: 13 (NKJV)
From the foregoing, are you carrying a cross? Who is the author of that cross? Have you identified him?
Let us briefly mention three possible authors of crosses:
1.God. This has been mentioned earlier and reference will also be made latter to it.
2. Flesh. (Lust of the flesh). This is very common among mankind, including many followers of Jesus Christ, and they link it to God. No! This is wrong.
A practical example is that of four men who chose wives on their own as explained above.
"...the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose." Genesis 6:2. Who then should bear the consequences of such action? Who should be blamed? Is he not the choice maker?
3. Satan, the Devi. He is the permanent and principal enemy of man, who can also bring "a cross".
He seizes the opportunity inherent in believer's ignorance to deceive them into calling it their "cross" to carry in following Jesus.
4. The World. The world can/may put unnecessary burden or pressure on you and if care is not taken, you may think it is a cross to carry by following Jesus.
Therefore, you must carry out a careful examination of such burdens to know what it really is.
Do not just accept or term every negative circumstance as your cross. You must behave like:
1. Father Abraham.
As a friend of God, he did not resign to fate by seeing his family childlessness as a cross to carry forever.
He talked to God about it. Both had a fruitful discussion together on that issue. So Abraham knew his true position concerning the matter. Genesis 15:1-3, 17-18.
2. Father Moses. He provoked God to anger and The Lord told him he would not reach the land of Canaan. Moses begged God on this until he received a definite reply thus,
"Enough of that! Speak no more to Me of this matter." Deuteronomy 3:26.
Have you spoken to God about your unpleasant circumstances and got a definite answer?
Please, you must do!
3. Apostle Paul. This man of God also spoke to God about his "thorn in the flesh" to which he received a reply from the Lord,
"My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9.
There is always a cross to carry. A Godly Cross is never designed to crush you; but any other cross is brought to crush and destroy you totally (John 10:10a).
Therefore, identify and analyse what you have taken as your cross. Determine the source of the cross. If the Lord knows about it, run your Christian race happily with it.
Reject it if it emanated from any other source in the name of Jesus. Ask for enough grace to carry your own God-given cross.
Stay blessed and rapturable, the Lord is coming soon.
The Author is the set man of CTFM(WORLD OUTREACH)and Presiding Pastor of Christ Restland Gospel Church.He is a Poet and author of many books. Visit his blogsites www.4thlink.wordpress.com and www.peacelink.wordpress.com for more quality contents.
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