Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Preparation to Face the Cross
“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (V.18)
At the Mount of Olives Jesus prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done” (Lu: 22: 42). We see Jesus preparing to face the cross by emptying himself and submitting Himself to God’s will. In Luke 9: 23, Jesus instructed His disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” Hence, the message of the cross is to sacrifice one’s self and one’s most prized possessions, take up one’s cause (cross) for living, and follow in the manner that God sacrificed His only Son (Jn..3: 16), and in the manner that Jesus submitted Himself to His Father’s will.
This message is easy to state but difficult to pursue because God’s will is not always in alignment with the human will. However, if we believe in the power of this message it will become real because “the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you”(Rom. 8: 11). Nevertheless, we must first be willing to die, just like a kernel of wheat that falls to the ground and dies, so that it may become productive and produce more (Jn. 12: 24).
During lent many people give up something or the other that they love. Why not give up something that is disgraceful? Why not we identify the sinful areas of our life that needs change and give them up, and surrender ourselves and our cause to the will of God so that his Glory may be revealed in us and through us? The true experience of salvation and freedom is when we give up our sinfulness, the desires of the world, and the desires of the self. To those that rely on the world and their own abilities, this message would feel like foolishness. But the wisdom of those who surrendered their self for the cause of greater good compels us to be wise and do likewise.
Prayer : Dear Lord Jesus, help us to learn from your experience on the cross and identify our cross and the areas in our life that need correction and surrender them daily to your will. Let our priority be to seek wisdom, which would help us get rid of our sins and sinfulness....Amen
Thought for the Day: If you love to boast, boast of what the Lord has done for you. He gave himself up on the cross for your sake. What are we giving up for His sake?
Dr. Mathew T. Thomas, MTC, Greater Washington