..."and a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the way of holiness; evil minded people shall not travel on it, but it shall be for those wayfarers who are traveling toward God. (Isaiah 35:8, adapted)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Devotions From the Heart: Enemies of The Cross

by Pastor Derek Gitsham

"For many walk, of whom I have told you
often, and now tell you even weeping,
that they are the enemies of the cross
of Christ." Philippians 3:18.

It had not taken long for the early Church
to be infiltrated with those who wanted to
cheapen the grace and gospel of our Lord
Jesus Christ. Everyone in the natural realm
longs for an easy life, but an easy life is
not promised to those who would follow in
the footsteps of Jesus.

Jesus said to his disciples, “If any man cometh
after me, let him deny himself, and take up his
cross and follow Me” (Matthew 16:24). He spoke
this to his disciples and the first words out
of His mouth were to let him deny himself i.e.
let him lay down his rights to himself.

The early church had incredible accusations
against it, suffering immense persecution and
intolerable hardship. Life was not an easy matter
in those days, but embracing their afflictions
they grew and increased, and the gospel spread.

Paul’s word that many walk (live) as enemies of
the cross of Christ was clearly pointing to the
fact that the Church was being attacked by those
amongst them who did not see the necessity of a
life of discipline and perseverance. They
rejected the idea that the cross was not just
about redemption, but a way of life. Calvary
was about how we live, not just a place of
redeeming mankind.

We must recognize that the cross is to be part
of our life in Christ, even as Jesus said,
“Take up his cross and follow Me.” He called
the cross His Cross. We have to make the
cross our own if we are to follow Jesus utterly
and completely. Ours is not a life of ease,
but of accepting rejection, and following
Jesus through all that assails us.

The end of such people who refuse the cross
is destruction. Carnality is what we reap by
ignoring the cross, and our god is our belly,
whose glory is in our shame, who mind earthly
things. Pray that the cross be made our own.
Make it yours by faith right now.

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