The Cross We Bear

The Cross We Bear

Matthew 16:24-26 “Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” In our walk with Christ we are commanded to pick up our cross. Forsake our old life, the worldly desires, and aspire to grow in our relationship with God. When the world is too strong and we feel like we cannot take another step, cry out to God and bear that cross with honor. We are soldiers for Christ and we have a responsibility to our loved ones, our friends, our enemies, to fight the fight. John 16:33 “33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

 Have you ever listened to American Soldier by Toby Keith? Listen to the words. Take what you hear and make some small substitutions.

I’m just trying to be a father
Raise a daughter and a son
Be a lover to their mother
Everything to everyone
Up and at ’em bright and early
I’m all business in my suit
Yeah, I’m dressed up for success
From my head down to my boots

I don’t do it for the money
There’s bills that I can’t pay
I don’t do it for the glory
I just do it anyway
Providing for our future’s my responsibility
Yeah, I’m real good under pressure
Being all that I can be

And I can’t call in sick on Mondays
When the weekends been too strong
I just work straight through the holidays
And sometimes all night long
You can bet that I stand ready
When the wolf growls at the door
Hey, I’m solid, hey I’m steady
Hey I’m true down to the core

And I will always do my duty
No matter what the price
I’ve counted up the cost
I know the sacrifice
Oh, and I don’t want to die for you
But if dyin’s asked of me
I’ll bear that cross with honor
‘Cause freedom don’t come free

I’m an American Christian soldier, an American
Beside my brothers and my sisters
I will proudly take a stand
When liberty’s in jeopardy
I will always do what’s right
I’m out here on the front lines
sleep in peace tonight

 If we are Soldiers for Christ, and we listen to this song, we can see what it means to follow the Lord. I’m solid, I’m steady, I’m true down to the core. If we are walking with Christ and we know Jesus in our hearts, then when the wolf growls at the door, the devil is always growling at our door. As Christians our job as disciples is never ending. We never take a break, and we never give up. I’ve counted up the cost, I know the sacrifice. We know following Christ is hard, and we know that there will be battles. We know we will be rebuked and sought after for persecution. We know the cost could one day be our lives, but isn’t it worth it to spend an eternity in heaven? Our first duty is to the Lord, and no matter the cost, we know we have to follow Jesus. What about our liberty as Christians? Are we standing up and fighting back when they are in danger? Are we standing up against the attackers and fighting back? To follow Christ there is no glory, no reward that makes a difference on this early world. However the payoff is in the wonders of Heaven. Freedom from sin, and we know where that takes us, sometimes we may be asked to lay down our life in the name of Christ. I don’t want to die for you, but as Christ died for us, we too may one day be put in a situation we must stand tall. Freedom isn’t free, it was paid for by the blood of Christ. We do one day may be forced to make a choice. All around the world Christians are laying down their lives against attackers as the Christian Church is being attacked brutally. If the day comes will you stand firm against the wolves, or will you deny Christ to save your own life? No matter who we are, what we do for a living, Christ is our Lord and Savior, and it’s in that we need to remember down to the core of our hearts, we are Soldiers for Christ.

Luke 14:25-34 “Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them, 26 “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. 27 And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it— 29 lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’? 31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. 33 So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.”

It’s so important to know how and why to pick up our cross to follow Christ. There’s always a cost to follow Christ. The song Hard Love by Needtobreathe says “You’ve gotta burn your old self away” We must know that to follow Christ is to allow the old worldly self to burn away.

Bare your cross with honor, and bring all the glory to God. We will be rewarded for our sacrifices and we will be given a freedom far greater then we could ever imagine. Just have faith in the Lord, have faith in the path, and finish the race strong.

A man who has very little. A man without a partner. A man without a job. A man without a house. A man who places worth on what he doesn’t have isn’t a man. A man who has Jesus. A man with God in his heart is more rich then all the money and objects in the world. A man who has love for others, love for himself has more to offer then most. Money and riches doesn’t define wealth. Wealth is in the abundance of faith. Wealth is the gift of eternal paradise. Be content with what you have. Know your blessings and where they come from. A man with Jesus in his heart can change the world. Be a man of Christ and you will be rewarded more then any bank can hold. Have faith in the Lord and the Lord will provide. The cross we have may burn us, may scorch our flesh, may push us to our limits and our breaking points, but having faith in the Lord above we will, one way or another, be pulled through any and all our trials. Be a Christian Soldier.

 

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