Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Cross – New Model to Discipleship
Genesis 26:12-33
  
Binu T Jose

St Thomas MTC, IL

Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. (Luke 9:23)

What did Jesus mean when he said “take up your cross daily and follow me”?
Jesus’ audience knew very well what it means to carry one’s own cross. When the Romans led a criminal to his execution site, he was forced to carry the cross on which he would die. This showed submission to Rome and warned observers to submit as well. Jesus made this statement to make it clear that following Christ means total submission to Him.
Nabeel Qureshi in his book “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus” recalls the time when he shared his new found faith in Christ to his Muslim parents, the family was torn apart, his parents whom he loved were heartbroken and felt betrayed, the shock even sent his mother to the emergency room one night. His mother survived, but Nabeel says his mother’s eyes have never been bright since that day. Unable to withhold grief Nabel cried out... “Why God, Why did you not kill me the moment I believed? Why did you leave me here? Why did you leave me to hurt my family more deeply than they have ever been hurt? Why God?” At that most agonizing moment in his life, Nabel says, something happened that was beyond his theology and understanding, he felt as if God had picked up a megaphone and spoke to his conscience – “Why because this is not about you”
The unpopular yet fundamental fact of Christian life is that God’s goal is not to make sure we are happy. Life is not about us being successful, comfortable and pain free. It is about becoming the man and woman God has called us to be. Life is not about us! It’s about God.
In today’s Bible portion we see Isaac digging wells, one after the other. In fact Isaac is re-digging some of the wells that belonged to Abraham. Locals have filled them up and Isaac is re-digging. Getting water was a matter of life and death for Isaac. In the Bible portion we read that by the time the well was ready to draw water, the locals came and claimed it. Isaac then moves on and digs another, and the same story repeats. Again Isaac moves on and digs another well, this time no one came to claim it. People may want to call Isaac a coward, I even heard a message where the preacher called Isaac a coward. Pause and think for a moment, Isaac was a man with many flocks and herds, he was wealthy and he had the power to fight back but we don’t see him do it.
Meekness is not a popular word in today’s culture. The classical Greek word used to translate meekness was that for a horse that had been tamed and bridled. The horse is not weak, it has been tamed and bridled.
When Jesus asked us to carry the cross daily, He meant us to be bridled and be under His control daily. After all it is not about us, It’s about God.

PRAYER

Lord, help us not to argue and retaliate to criticism and accusations but to keep our focus on You. Amen
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
“Meekness is not weakness, it is strength under control”  Abraham Lincoln