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 24 Feb 08

Take up your cross

Evangelist Lawrence Seow

3Feb 2008   


10 Feb 2008     

17 Feb 2008


24 Feb 2008  Take up your cross

Evangelist  Lawrence Seow

Our 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.

For 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.

Another 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

God 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.

A lump 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.

Luke 9: 23 Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

We have to deny self if we were take up the cross.

Gal 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.

Nothing if not for the cross of Christ

John 14:6  Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Matt 7:14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Deny self

To take 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 and teachable.

There 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. 

To 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.

If 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.

Deny self is a learning  and testing process:

First we look at where we stand in 3 areas:

-     The world

-     The Devil/ satan

-     The flesh /lust  

The 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.

We need 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. 


There is element of sacrifice in taking up the cross.

Peter the fisherman

Matthew the tax collector

Paul- top religious position

Stephen – stoned

John the Baptist- his head

Hebrews 12:2 Let us 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.   

It is  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 transport. 

As we 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 better facilities..etc 

The 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 follow. 

On the 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.

Stop ! Give in and give up  ~ or take up your cross.