Saturday, March 16, 2019

A Lenten Reminder of Cross Bearing

There is a useful tradition about giving something up for Lent. While such an act does nothing for our salvation or holiness before God, it does provide us with the opportunity to learn that there are ways we can discipline our own bodies.

But we should be careful not to elevate such self-deprivation to the level of suffering for Christ.
24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
[Matthew 16:24-26 NKJV]
A main goal of Lent is to lead us through the Active Obedience of Christ on our behalf to view the Passive Obedience of Christ in our place that our faith may rest on Christ alone, and Christ crucified. His is the cross that saves.

The following is a list, a reminder, both of what suffering for Christ can be, and to keep our brothers and sisters in our prayers.
"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. " Romans 8:18

This is a partial list that starts in January.

" But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.”  But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;  having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.  For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil." 1 Peter 3:14-17
"Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.  Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you." Matthew 5:10-12

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