I exchanged several emails with an Eastern Orthodox believer, I don’t know which branch, and in the midst of it I talked about how many “ancient church” members never think about or consider Jesus’ demand of his disciples: “Deny yourself, take up your cross daily, and follow me.”
Then I started thinking about how many people who know me, but who are not told or inspired by me to deny themselves, take up their cross daily, and follow Jesus.
I don’t want to leave Jesus’ Gospel unsaid or undemonstrated.
So I want to share some thoughts that I’ve been reading on Facebook from a fellow named Brett Hancock. He’s been posting mini-sermons every day for a few days, and they remind me that I had better look at “deny myself,” while I’m looking at helping those who are missing the Gospel (and freeing them from churches that encourage them by example and by bad company—1 Cor. 15:33—to miss the Gospel).
I am not yet perfect, so back in the gym (this world and its tests) I go. … Thank God for the Church, a people serious about this training. … Hebrews 12:4 In your struggle against sin, you have not resisted to the point of shedding your blood. (1/24/13)
Will someone explain that when we hear and read Jesus speaking like this that he really means “pick up your remote control and kick back; I did it all for you”?
- Matthew 10:38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.
- 2. Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
(1/24/13, Brett had five verses, not just two)
Finally, can any of you say that this question doesn’t make you tremble a bit? I was stung by this:
For the watered down preaching from pastors and priests today, ask yourself, why does the New Testament often say “MAKE EVERY EFFORT” if any amount of effort is acceptable to Christ? How much effort are you putting into your Christianity? (1/23/13)