“Then Jesus said to his disciples if anyone wants to come with me he must deny himself take up his cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24
Henry Blackaby, in his Experiencing God Day by Day devotion, says that your cross is God's will for you, regardless of the cost. Taking up your cross is a choice that each of us has to make. Many people want to deny themselves and follow Jesus, but Blackaby tells us that we miss a very important part of a Christian's life. We have to be willing to take up His cross. This means that we must be willing to suffer for the sake of Christ. This means going where He wants us to go, doing what He wants us to do, speaking to whom He wants us to speak. There is no greater joy in the life of a Christian than suffering for Christ. I believe that it is impossible to follow Jesus with all of your heart if you are not willing to do that which makes you uncomfortable, inconvenienced, and sometimes put you at risk. I believe that there is no Christianity without a cross. Will you take up your cross today?
I am writing this article in L'viv, Ukraine. I have just finished speaking to the wonderful Fee Fee church family via Skype in the morning worship service. I am here with a team of six, doing construction work at the Ukrainian Baptist Theological Seminary. This year we will be renovating three classrooms from top to bottom. The seminary is growing by leaps and bounds. They have added 120 new students since last September. It is a joy to be a part of helping provide a place for these men and women who will study God's Word and then make a difference in the lives of the people of Ukraine. Please keep this nation in your prayers. They are under such stress in their relationship with Russia. They are discouraged and feel as if they have been abandoned by the world, especially the Christians here in Ukraine. The Christian population in Ukraine is less than 1% but I can see God doing a mighty work here and your prayers can make a difference.
Pray for us this week as we will be working very hard and long hours to get the job done. Pray for our health and opportunities to share what Jesus Christ has done in our heart.
I want to tell you about some meetings that are coming up this next month called Simple Church. These meetings are aimed at informing the church body about the current state of our church and some very disturbing trends. They are intended to show the church body that we need to take some new approaches to reach people for Jesus. There are meeting times for every age. Check the Forerunner for more details.
Fee Fee has a tremendous history and I believe that its future is just as great. But it will not happen unless we deny ourselves and take up our cross and follow Jesus. Come and help us as we embark on that journey in a new and wonderful way.