Take Up My Cross

Galatians 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

Paul teaches the church at Galatia that Jesus paid it all. The focus for life is no longer our performance of the traditions, feasts, and the Old Testament law. Jesus alone paid it all perfectly obedient to the Father in His record, and perfect substitute for our record. That payment was made at the cross! As we focus on the cross, the drive of personal ambition dwindles, the force of fleshly appetite fades, and the demand for selfish desire diminishes. The cross has been called the 'great leveler of us all!'

What a contrast with our text is Paul's sad description of 'many' in his day: ' they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame,who mind earthly things (Philippians 3:18,19) Paul 'gloried' in the price of his eternal redemption: the cross and the Savior's love others 'gloried' in things which would only bring upon them shame. Paul's personal desires were yielded to the obedience of Christ others were worshipping their own appetites.

A missionary to Mexico learned to identify with the cross and Jesus' great personal love for him. During an evangelistic tour of remote villages, he became ill and had to stay behind in the camping tent while the others went to minister. That evening, he dreamed of the Crucifixion. All the details were vivid the approaching darkness, the mocking crowd, the soldiers it was as if he were really there.

Suddenly the soldier was nailing Jesus to the cross. The missionary felt anger at such injustice: those hands trained in carpentry now nailed to a cross. Those hands of the One by Whom all things were made were now to suffer torment by the instruments of His own creation. Those hands that had healed, that had blessed, that had multiplied food now were to send waves of agony to Him Who never sinned with His hands.

Then, the missionary saw the soldier turn around and beheld his own face in the Roman soldier! It was a shock and a lesson he will never forget! The cross, and Jesus' sacrifice, is so much more personal, and precious to him now!

Take Up My Cross

by Phil Freeman

My Savior died upon a cross;
He bore my sin, He took my loss.
He left this word about the tree:
'Take up your cross and follow Me!'

If I would glory in His cross,
Live all for Him, count not the cost,
Then I must let this world grow dim,
Take up my cross and follow Him!

Oh Lord, I long like Paul to be
Dead to the world, the world to me;
My life a portrait of Your grace,
Your dying love upon my face.

Help me today my world to reach!
Your Word to share! Your claims to preach!
I thank You, Lord: You showed the way
'Not my will, God, but Thine today!'

©1996 by Phil Freeman

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