The main focus of this BLOG, is to uphold those simple, and clearly defined truths, that are so often missing from Christian life and conversation.
(There may also be the odd film or book review along the way as well as stories from my life)
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Thursday, 7 January 2016


Welcome to part four of this series. So far, we have looked at three different paths we follow as part of our Christian walk. We have been through the Wilderness. Made our way along the Valley, and come to the top of the Mountain.
(You can follow these links to the previous posts if you're just catching up)

In all of these posts we have looked at; what we can learn, how God acts and how God  reveals himself.

In this post we will look at the fourth and final path of this series. This final path is different from the others. It is different, because God leads us along those other paths in order that we may learn from Him. We do not choose those paths.

This final path we will look at, is the only one we may freely choose to follow.

It is the path of the cross.

Matthew 16:24.  Then Jesus said to his disciples, "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me."

Luke 9:23. Then he said to them all: "Whoever wants to be my disciple, must deny themselves and take up their cross daily, and follow me."

Luke 14:27. "And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me, cannot be my disciple.

I've seen and heard a lot of different ways of interpreting these verses. Most of them are fairly conservative. Many of the commentaries I have looked through, talk about; facing obstacles, enduring hardships, bearing our burdens and dealing with adversity. Or, they encourage us to embrace a willingness lay down our lives in  a purely mortal sense, some level of self sacrifice, or even martyrdom. However, and I say this with all humility, I think they all miss the mark. They come up just a little bit short of the truth.

If we look at these verses in context, we really only have to ask ourselves one logical question.

"If we are to take up our cross and follow Jesus. Then where was Jesus taking his cross?"

 Answer. "He was going to Calvary to die."

I like war movies. Not because of some sadistic enjoyment of the violence. I like the stories, the struggles, acts of bravery and heroism. My particular favourite is the HBO series "Band of Brothers" If you're not familiar with the series, it covers the events of WW2 following the Normandy invasion. It particularly follows one group of soldiers from Easy Company in the 101st Airborne Division.

In one of the episodes, a soldier is struggling to deal with the intense realities of armed conflict. An officer asks him a simple question.

"What's the secret to being a good soldier?"

Answer. "Knowing that you're already dead."

I believe the message of Jesus is just that simple. That as He died on His cross. So too must we reckon our lives lost for the sake of the gospel.

Philippians 3:7-8. But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.

As we walk the path of the cross, we lose all, all that is temporal, of fleeting importance. In order that we may gain all, all that is eternal, that carries the values of His Kingdom.

When we walk the path of the cross, we walk in Kingdom purposes. We walk in covenant with our creator God. This idea of losing all, of dying to all can seem daunting I know. But here's the thing. God doesn't take it all at once. He guides us with a gentle hand. It is something we learn to walk in daily.

If we want to truly experience the power of the cross in our lives. We must walk the path of the cross.
It was the path Jesus had to walk in order to gain total victory over sin. It was the only way, to the power of the resurrection.

So if you want to truly live as a Christian, what's the secret?

It's reckoning yourself already dead.

Once you have chosen the path of the cross. You will still walk through the wilderness, along the valley and over the mountain. But you will do so in the power of the cross. But you have to choose it, you have to take it up.

You can also choose not  to walk down these paths. You can get off any time you want.

But I don't recommend it.

All scriptures NIV 2011

Images used in this post.
"Light Path"
Image courtesy of dan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
"Jesus Door"
Image courtesy of Naypong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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