After all the trials and the persecutions that Jesus went through on Thursday night, early Friday morning, He had to take up his Cross and carry it out of the city. Along the way, Simon of Cyrene was ordered to help carry the Cross for Jesus. While we can’t carry the actual wooden cross that Simon bore for Jesus, we each have a path that God has laid out for us. Somewhere along that path, we will meet Jesus. Then we will either accept Him or reject Him. If we accept Him, there will be a cross for us to bear. The cross may be financial, it may be physical, it may include rejection and persecution, but whatever cross we are called to bear, we can be sure that if we have listened to the whispers of the Holy Spirit and we have been obedient, we will be prepared for it. If the cross seems more than we can bear, it may be because we have not yet decided to die to our own desires. The only way to save our lives is to lose them for Jesus.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Jesus responds to their request by saying that it was now time for Him to be glorified. They did not understand that He was referring to His death and resurrection. The grain of wheat that had to die was Jesus. Once a seed has sufficient moisture and temperature, it will split and a new plant starts to grow. The new plant takes everything from the seed to accomplish its growth. In other words, the seed gives itself up (dies) for the new plant. With proper care, the new plant will produce much fruit of its own kind. Jesus knew from before the foundation of the world, that His mission would be to give Himself up for us. When Jesus freely gives Himself up and is buried, the germination process has begun. Now all who accept Him are new creatures. Formed completely out of His body from His own nature. Now that the process of growth has started, we must continue that process by caring for the new creature. We do that by studying Scripture, meditating on His Word and communicating with God through the Holy Spirit. If we follow the example of Jesus, we become bond slaves to Him and servants to our fellow man. We keep this up until our physical body is used up or until Jesus returns, whichever comes first.
17 If anyone belongs to Christ, there is a new creation. The old things have gone; everything is made new! –2 Cor. 15:17 (NCV)
Then when Jesus returns, the transformation will be complete! We will have new bodies because our fleshly bodies cannot stand in the glory of God.
12 God’s word is living and active. It is sharper than any two-edged sword and cuts as deep as the place where soul and spirit meet, the place where joints and marrow meet. God’s word judges a person’s thoughts and intentions. 13 No creature can hide from God. Everything is uncovered and exposed for him to see. We must answer to him. –Hebrews 4: 12, 13 (GW)
We are told in the first chapter of John that “the Word became human and dwelt among us”. That Word was and is Jesus Christ. He is still alive and active. He stands at the right hand of the Father and intercedes for us. His Holy Spirit searches our hearts and minds and knows our very thoughts. We can all “talk the talk” but only each of us and God know whether or not we are “walking the walk”. 27 All of our thoughts are known to God. He can understand what is in the mind of the Spirit, as the Spirit prays for God’s people.–Romans 8:27 (CEV)
He knows our thoughts and judges our intentions. We cannot fool Him, we cannot hide our thoughts from Him and we cannot physically hide from Him. He sees all, hears all, and knows all about us. And one day, “every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess” that He is Lord. We can do it now and spend an eternity with Him or we can wait until judgment day and spend an eternity in hell. Jesus wants everyone to go to heaven, but He knows that not every one will choose to go. The choice is ours.
6 Look at it this way: At the right time, while we were still helpless, Christ died for ungodly people. 7 Finding someone who would die for a godly person is rare. Maybe someone would have the courage to die for a good person. 8 Christ died for us while we were still sinners. This demonstrates God’s love for us. 9 Since Christ’s blood has now given us God’s approval, we are even more certain that Christ will save us from God’s anger. 10 If the death of his Son restored our relationship with God while we were still his enemies, we are even more certain that, because of this restored relationship, the life of his Son will save us.–Romans 5: 6-10 (NLT)
Oftentimes, when we have sinned, whether intentionally or unintentionally, satan uses that as a spiritual weapon against us. He tells us how unworthy we are and from a human viewpoint, he is correct. But we should never let satan’s lies defeat us. God does not see us as unworthy. In fact, God sees us as worthy because His Son paid the price for our redemption. Without the blood of Jesus, we are just as unworthy now as we were before Jesus died for us. But the Trinity determined before the foundations of the earth that Jesus would die for God’s enemies. It is not a question of our worth, because we are not saved by our worth or works. It is a statement of the worth of Christ Jesus, our Savior and Lord, God will never leave us nor forsake us because that would be saying that Jesus did not complete His work at the Cross. When Jesus said “it is finished”, it was finished, satan was and is defeated and satan can’t change that. So, like the wounded lion he is, satan goes about roaring lies and accusing Christians. But we should feel no condemnation and we should have no fear, because the battle is not ours, it is the Lord’s! Hallelujah!!
1 Timothy, my dear son, be strong through the grace that God gives you in Christ Jesus. 2 You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others. 3 Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 Soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them. 5 And athletes cannot win the prize unless they follow the rules. 6 And hardworking farmers should be the first to enjoy the fruit of their labor. 7 Think about what I am saying. The Lord will help you understand all these things. 2 Timothy 2:1-7 (NLT)
Jesus commissioned us to go and make disciples starting at home and working our way out to the rest of the world. Making disciples requires more than just the plan of salvation. We are to spend time with new converts teaching them the discipline of the Word of God. We must show them by example that we have to spend time with the Word and talking with God on a daily basis. We also must show them that it is necessary for us to spend time together as Christians. We are told not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together. We need the encouragement and help of those around us to endure in our walk with God. There is the old example of removing a red hot ember from the fireplace and setting it out by itself. It is soon black and cold. You can put it back in the fireplace and it is soon red hot and giving off warmth again. Our spirits are the same way, we need that “togetherness” to keep our passion and compassion flowing for Jesus. Learn all you can and take the time to teach what you have learned to those around you. That is the way each of us can fulfill the commission that Jesus gave to the disciples and to us.
Ephesians 3:14-20 (NLT) 14 When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father 15 the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. 16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. 20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.
God is the Creator of all things. Therefore, they are His to give as He desires. His resources, like His love, are unlimited. Our tiny human minds cannot begin to imagine the depth. length, width, and height of God’s love. There is only one force that is powerful enough to cause a Creator to create a creature knowing that He would someday have to die on a cross to redeem His creation from eternal death. It is a love that certainly is too great for us to understand. Now, we can only try to imagine that kind of love, but one day we will know the fullness of God’s love. Today, we see in a glass darkly, but one day, we will see clearly. His love is the power in us that causes us to want to love our friends and our enemies. There are 3 great motivators for humans: greed, power, and love. Greed only lasts till the money runs out, power only lasts until you reach the top rung, but love is unlimited.
So give love graciously and abundantly, there is no end to the supply of love.