Feb 2008 Take up your cross
Evangelist Lawrence Seow
heart wanders even as we grow in holiness and commitment . We are who we
are not because we are good but because God is good.
example in vehicles fitted with GPS ( Global Positioning System), it always
put us back on the track even if we disobey or take the wrong turn.
illustration comes from sea turtle – after laborious work of laying eggs,
the sea turtle can become disoriented and instead of going back to the sea-
they may move inland. They need to be help by the rangers to tie them up and
carry them back to the sea
also have a GPS – Grace Positioning System to turn our lives
upside down to get us back on track. Like Jonah of old, God put him back on
the right direction.
of cray can become a beautiful work of art. First, it is spinned on a
wheel, mould and shape, then fired in the unbearable heat of the oven to
prevent cracks, and brush and painted to give it colours, and further heat
treatment to withstand pressure and ensure strength before it finally face
the mirror. Our life is also like that and life is tough. It takes God to
deal with us before we become someone we want to be, by the mercy and
grace of God. God is good.
said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and
take up his cross daily and follow me.”
to deny self if we were take up the cross.
6:14May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through
which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
if not for the cross of Christ
14:6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes
to the Father except through me.”
7:14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only
a few find it.
up your cross, we are to die to self. This is a requirement. Deny self is a
humbling process on 2 dimension- humanity and humility. We need to be humble
are Christians who goes to church, read the bible, and give their offerings,
but they never take up their cross and sometime even avoiding the cross.
They still follow the world.
truly live, we need to die to self. God came to give us life, but Jesus have
to die on the cross first. Therein lies the beautiful paradox of life and
death and the power of his resurrection. A secular example is Benazir Bhutto
whose death trigger change in Pakistan.
there are not enough people to die to self, the church will be weak. Another
illustration comes from mountain climbing in Tibet, two man going up the
mountain, one stop to help a stranger whilst another go alone. The one that
stop to help the other stranger exerted effort and managed to keep warm
while the other froze to death.
self is a learning and testing process:
we look at where we stand in 3 areas:
world opposes God so do not love the things of this world. In addition,
Satan is ever ready to prevent us from following God and lusts relate to our
old sinful nature of the flesh.
to let the sinful nature go and allow God’s divine nature can come in.
Sometimes, it requires us to reach the end of our strength, before God can
come in. You can lean, rely, align and position yourself towards God. It is
a constant battle between God’s approval versus man’s approval, holiness and
Hollywood, between spirit and flesh. Just a thin line separates the church
and the world but it is a lifelong struggle. We need to pray and walk in the
spirit. Be consistent, strong and smart by depending on God. Do not become
an up-and-down Christian.
is element of sacrifice in taking up the cross.
the tax collector
Baptist- his head
fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the
joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at
the right hand of the throne of God.
painful sometimes physical and noticeable but often unseen and not obvious.
Some people demonstrate commitment and sacrifice with 20% tithes. Others
serve God even out of the way by travelling far to church without private
look at modern church growth, of mega churches, we see the transfer of
fishes from one aquarium to another aquarium – one church to another
church-church hopping and church shopping. They attend church with their
shopping list and make God their errand boy. They look for the church with
church should not be a country club where people serve out of convenience
and along the way, to feel good, about seeking blessings, prosperity, health
and wealth. One of the greatest lie is that after salvation, blessings will
contrary, we owe the duty of burden to tell people about Jesus and duty to
the loss. We exist for him. Winning souls should be our emphasis. Ask
yourself- Am I serving you.
Give in and give up ~ or
take up your cross.