Good morning, Lord Jesus. Be high and lifted up -- here in my heart and every moment of my day. ...
"For many live as enemies of the cross of Christ; I have often told you of them, and now I tell you even with tears. Their end is destruction; their god is the belly; and their glory is their shame; their minds are set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will transform the body of our humiliation that it may be conformed to the body of His glory, by the power that also enables Him to make all things subject to Himself. Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved" (Philippians 3:18-4:1).
We can become an enemy of the cross without being part of some army of another religion or some satanic cult. We can become an enemy of the cross when we refuse to take up our cross and follow You. We can become an enemy of the cross when we let our flesh be our god, when we set our minds on the priorities of the kingdoms of this world instead of the priorities of the kingdom of heaven. And we can become an enemy of the cross when we no longer "stand firm in the Lord," compromising with truth, watering down our faith, and conform to the ways of the world instead of standing in contrast through the ways of Christ.
Forgive us, Lord. Forgive me, Lord. The cross is the place of death -- death to my will that's apart from Your will, my ways that are apart from Your ways. The cross is the place where I can say by Your grace, "My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, buy Christ who lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me" (Galatians 2:20).
You said to Your first followers what continue to say to all who would claim to Your followers in every age, "If any of you wants to be My follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow Me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for My sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but are yourself lost or destroyed? If anyone is ashamed of Me and My message, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when He returns in His glory and in the glory of the Father and the holy angels" (Luke 9:23-26).
To seek to "gain the whole world" -- even if we say "We're doing it for Jesus" or "We're just trying to connect with our culture" or "We're just trying to be relevant" or "We're just seeking to be less threatening or less exclusive or less judgmental or less intolerant" -- is to lose our soul as a follower of Christ and ambassador of His Church. "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his soul?" (Mark 8:36)
Give me grace to "stand firm" in this age, in my generation, in my culture, in the challenges to Your Way and Your Truth and Your Life in my day. I want to be a friend of Christ not an enemy of the cross. I want to be Your beloved not Your befuddled. I want to be clear in proclaiming and living Your message -- "speaking the truth in love" (Ephesians 4:15) with my "faith working through love" (Galatians 5:6) -- not afraid to love and not afraid to speak the truth, just as You show us through Your Life in Your Spirit and in Your Word.
"Truth is in Jesus" (Ephesians 4:21). You said, "You are My friends if you do what I command you" -- not "what you think will work best in your world," not "what you feel the Bible ought to say," and not "what you would do if you were God," but "what I command you." So give me grace to be a friend of Christ, not an enemy of the cross. Give me grace to live my life in Christ, in Your Truth, is to take up my cross and follow You this day and every day. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
My family, I pray you are empowered by God's grace to take up your cross and follow Jesus every day, proclaiming His message through your life as a friend of Christ, in Jesus' name! Please pray the same for me! God bless you, my friends!
Please share your reflections and prayers with us on this blog in the comment box below.
Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower
One Direction Community
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