CALL TO PRAYER
By: Stephen Osei Kuffour
Title: Embrace Your Cross
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me ( Matthew 16:24).
Self-denial is the willingness to forgo personal pleasures or undergo personal trials in the pursuit of the increased good of another. The Cross represents pain, suffering, discomfort, trouble, trials, torture.The Christian life will by all means cost you! However, the blessings we get and the glory that will be revealed in our lives cannot be compared to the suffering and sacrifice today. Therefore, let’s be ready to sacrifice something for the Kingdom’s sake and reach a point where we can boldly say, “Lord take my life and use it for your Glory.”
The message of the cross is power (1 Corinthians 1:18)! Nowadays Churches don’t preach the cross and that’s why there is no power in many Churches. Sadly, this is breeding Christians who just love living in comfort, settled, and desiring to be rich while the world is in shambles. Souls are perishing!
Many believers are not ready to embrace their cross and as a result, some have left their Church, Ministry, Job, Marriage etc. They are like these three "wanna-be" Disciples of our Lord Jesus who were not ready to sacrifice anything (Luke 9:57-62). The Christian Life is a life of faith, and Faith is always where there is challenge. The Lord sometimes allow us to go through trials and hardships to build character in us, and also strengthen our Faith. We should be able to say Lord take all that I am. If you want the power of God upon your life and the manifestation of His Glory, embrace your cross.
Beloved, there are many examples in Bible of those who embraced their cross and suffered for the sake of the Kingdom. Our Lord Jesus gave it all for us, John the Baptist was killed, Apostles Paul, Peter and John were persecuted, Stephen was stoned to death etc. I know a man of God who, on their way for a crusade, lost two children through accident but he is still preaching powerfully today.
Brethren, in as much as we learn from the sacrifices of our Lord Jesus, the Apostles, and other men of God, we don't have to compare ourselves to them. This is because everyone’s cross is different; we all have our own cross to bear. What has God told you to crucify, abandon or give? Ask yourself what cross am I bearing in this moment of life? Because we need to bear it daily (Luke 9:23). Maybe your cross is to make time to be with the Lord, give money to support the Gospel, sacrifice pleasure (alcohol, partying, worldly music etc.), be persecuted for your Faith, give up a career or relationship for the call of God, forgive someone, sacrifice some family-time to be with the Lord etc.
Sometimes there is this one thing that the Lord will require of us and we have to be ready to give. Abraham, the father of Faith, is still celebrated today because he was willing to give that one thing. The Richman in Matthew 19:16-22 on the other hand was not willing to give that one thing. What is that one thing the Lord has required of you?
Brethren, if we embrace the cross, we embrace Jesus! I want to boldly stand before God in eternity and be able to tell Him that I gave my all for His Kingdom's sake. What about you?
Let’s thank God for His word today. Let’s ask God to give all believers the desire and the strength to embrace our cross, crucify the passions of flesh and the Grace to give everything the Lord ask of us. Let’s also pray for the Church to focus on preaching the cross which is the power of God.
God bless you all.
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