Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24
The teachings of Jesus are in stark conflict with what the world promotes. The world promotes pleasure and God says “deny yourself”…Think about it; why does God ask His people, His Bride on earth to deny herself?
Saving souls is not just the mission of Christ. It is the mission of every follower of Christ. In this very day, so much violence will be committed but the disciples of Jesus will be fighting the good fight. Jesus was willing to sacrifice to pay the price of our sins and we must be ready to sacrifice too. What that sacrifice will entail will depend on the plans God has for us.
It took me a long time, maybe a decade, to understand why the saints keep saying “I am ready to suffer for You Lord!”
At first I thought, why are they volunteering to suffer? If Jesus already paid the price of our sins, why do they need to become ‘sacrificial offerings’ too? This kind of thinking came from the selfish side of me…But the true Bride of Christ is ready to suffer with her Bridegroom Jesus. She is ready to sacrifice, nothing will be spared for the Holy One who gave everything for her.
St. Paul says, “Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules.” 2 Timothy 2: 3-5
But let no one be confused, the objective is NOT to pursue suffering as a an end goal. Our objective as good Christians is to do God’s will and when that entails suffering then that suffering is our cross and we are to embrace it as we strive to give glory to God.
Lord, I want to please You and to embrace Your will. Please forgive me for the times I have lamented my sufferings. May Your plans for me be fulfilled! It is a privilege to embrace You my suffering Saviour. Please be with me always for my mission is to please You. I love YOU Holy, Holy, Holy LORD!