TEXT: MATTHEW 10:34-42.
🔑KEY VERSE “And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me” (MATTHEW 10:38).
The producer of “Living in Bondage” is now a believer in Jesus Christ. He recently produced a film titled “Eternity So Near,” where he painted the picture of the heavenly race. People chose between two roads leading to different crosses. The road that led to the cross of Calvary, where Jesus died, had few people treading it. However, the road to another cross, where all forms of evil were permitted, had many thronging it.
In the text, Jesus emphatically announced that He came to send a sword, not peace and to set at variance family members against one another.
Children who love their parents more than Christ and those who do not take their cross and follow Him are not worthy of Him. Those who are not ready to lose anything for Jesus are not worthy of Him.
After the thrills of conversion subsides, the baby Christian soon finds that the Christian life is filled with bumps, potholes and detours. He has to choose between familial love and his love for Christ. The challenge of remaining a Christian soon becomes overwhelming; leaving him with the choice of who to follow – his family or Jesus.
Everyone born into this world is a follower of a particular pattern of life. Many follow ideology, philosophy, religion, fashion or even a model. However, Jesus calls you from that pattern to Himself, the Shepherd and Bishop of your soul. It is a call to cross-bearing, uncompromising consecration, self-denial, doing deeds of mercy, servanthood, compassion, humility and faith in Him.
Jesus has promised that those who follow Him will reign with Him, receive hundredfold of what they have forsaken and inherit everlasting life (Matthew 19:28,29). As we go through life, we should allow the image of Calvary remain with us. Bear the cross daily.
✍THOUGHT FOR THE DAY Laying down Jesus’ cross leads to ruin.
BIBLE IN A YEAR: DEUTERONOMY 10-12.
Jesus’ nonnegotiable verdict on discipleship
- Peaceful relationship on the platform of falsehood and heresies is satanic compromise vv34,35.
- The most subtle opposition to christian consecration comes from either the natural or spiritual household of the believer. Watch out! v36.
- A test of true discipleship is when you are confronted with a choice between pleasing your cherished relationship and Christ v37.
- A true disciple is known by his choice between the cross and his (life threatening) challenges vv37,38.
- The depth of your piety is reflected in your attitude towards the saints and men of God vv40-42.
Lord, I hereby consecrate my life to you to make you No1 in my life above all relationships and challenges
Lord I ask for grace and power not to compromise with errors and falsehood in my relationship with people
Lord, put your own kind of love and honour for the saints and men of God in my heart
Lord, let the word of God and the Spirit of God destroy all the barriers to true love for one another in the Church
HYMN The old rugged cross
On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suff’ring and shame,
And I love that old cross where the Dearest and Best
For a world of lost sinners was slain.
So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it some day for a crown.
Oh, that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
Has a wondrous attraction for me;
For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above,
To bear it to dark Calvary.
In the old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
A wondrous beauty I see;
For ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
To pardon and sanctify me.