Blessed… Take Up Your Cross

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “All who want to come after me must say no to themselves, take up their cross, and follow me.   All who want to save their lives will lose them. But all who lose their lives because of me will find them.   Why would people gain the whole world but lose their lives? What will people give in exchange for their lives? For the Human One is about to come with the majesty of his Father with his angels. And then he will repay each one for what that person has done.  I assure you that some standing here won’t die before they see the Human One coming in his kingdom” (Matthew 16:24-28, Common English Bible).

“Now that I’m a Christian my life will be so much easier.” Another said, “Preacher, now that I am a Christian, why isn’t my life easier? Doesn’t God love me?”

I have heard all that many times over the years. In light of our lesson today, how could we ever think that life as a Christian would be easy? Jesus says, “Take up your cross and follow me.” Anyone who would see the cross as easy really needs to give some thought to what easy really looks like.

To carry this a step further, Jesus also says, “All who want to save their lives will lose it. But all those who lose their lives because of me will gain it.” Again, I can’t speak for you, but nothing about that sounds easy to me.

As people of faith we can become targets for people outside the faith. Further, even if we are not targets, we are not going to become exempt from the problems of life. Christians lose loved ones. Christians get audited by the IRS. Christians are involved in car accidents. The list can go on and on. Being a Christian does not exempt us from the difficulties of life.

What being a Christian does do is give us fulfillment in life. For some at least, before being a Christian, life may have been easier but satisfaction in life was elusive. When we quit chasing the things of the world and start chasing after the things of God, how we look at life and approach life make a real change within us. It doesn’t mean things will always be easy. It just means we will have satisfaction. And then, maybe, just maybe in that satisfaction we may find real joy.

Where do you look for your satisfaction and joy?

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy and Thanksgiving,
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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