The Cross of The Believer
April 20, 2023


The Cross of The Believer


On April 16, 2023, Pastor Eric began his sermon by reminding us of the central truth of the gospel: that Jesus Christ gave His life as a sacrifice for us. He died a cruel death on the cross, but ultimately overcame death and rose from the grave on the third day. His mission and purpose were fully accomplished to give us the gift of redemption and to bridge the gap between us and the Father. His ultimate sacrifice was also to give us life, and life in abundance. By taking on all of our sins, Jesus offered us the opportunity to be reconciled with the Father and to experience a life of joy and fulfillment. He did this so that we could be free from the bondage of sin and be able to experience the fullness of life that God intended for us. His death was a demonstration of His unconditional love and mercy for us, and a reminder of the power of grace and redemption. Jesus died on the cross to make the impossible possible, to reunite us with the Father, and to give us the gift of eternal life.

Jesus died so we can live

Read John 10:10

John 10:10 states,

The robber comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I came so they might have life, a great full life.

In this verse, Jesus makes it clear that His purpose is to give life in all its fullness, whereas the devil’s purpose is to steal, kill, and destroy. Satan seeks to take away from us, but Christ invites us to come to Him so that ‘they’, His sheep, His children, His followers, may have life, and life in all its fullness. Jesus is offering us the gift of life and a life full of joy and abundance, in contrast to the devil’s agenda that seeks to bring destruction. Christ is the One who brings hope, peace, and joy to our lives, so that we may have a life full of abundance and purpose. He laid down His life to save us from the eternal death we were destined for. He took on our sins so that we could be set free and live in eternity with Him. Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice gives us hope for a better future. He died, so we could live. We were all condemned to death, but Jesus took it upon Himself to bear the burden in our place.

His death on the cross was a great sacrifice that allows us to live. But some of us are not honouring His sacrifice by living in a way that pleases Him. We behave as if there is still something we need to do to pay for our sins. But Jesus has already paid the price and He wants us to be free from the burden of the cross. He wants us to live in victory and freedom, to cast off the shackles of sin and bask in the glory of His love. Jesus wants us to be His true children and to live life to the fullest, in the same way that He intended. He wants us to be free.

Pastor Eric sometimes feels like, we, Christians are preaching a gospel of suffering. The gospel of Jesus Christ is not about suffering. Although there are moments when the gospel comes with persecutions and trials, this is not the main message. Rather, His message is one of hope and deliverance. In the face of suffering and pain, Christ did not preach despair but instead brought a message of hope in the midst of darkness. He showed us that through His death and resurrection, we can have victory over death and suffering. The gospel is not a gospel of suffering, rather it is a gospel of hope, of redemption, and of freedom. It is a message of hope and new life in Jesus Christ.

Read Matthew 5:10

According to Matthew 5:10,

Great blessings belong to those who suffer persecution for doing what is right. God’s kingdom belongs to them.

This verse is quite clear: it affirms that great blessings belong to those who endure suffering for righteousness’ sake. It does not say that great blessings belong to those who may suffer, but rather to those who suffer. This implies that we should expect to be persecuted for our faith. However, if we remain strong in our faith and do not give in to the pressure of our persecutors, we will receive great blessings from God. We can be assured that if we remain faithful to Him, we will receive His Kingdom and the blessings that come with it.

Stephen, James, Peter, Paul, and many other believers have endured their fair share of persecution, from being beaten and imprisoned to even being put to death. Pastor Eric should not be misunderstood. Trials and suffering for Jesus are certainly part of being His follower, but it is not the main message of the gospel. The gospel is about God’s love and mercy for humanity. Despite our sins, He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to take the punishment we deserve, dying on the cross and redeeming us. Through this sacrifice, we can be forgiven and reconciled to God and spend eternity in His presence. This is the main message of the gospel – not our suffering, trials, and persecutions. Although those things are part of being a Jesus follower, they should not be the focus. Rather, we should focus on the amazing grace and love of God, who sent His Son to save us from our sins, give us life in abundance, and bring us into an eternal relationship with Him.

The heart of the gospel is about much more than just our sufferings and trials. It is about the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus and His divine mission to bring all of humanity back to God. This is the main message of the gospel; the promise of a new life for those who place their faith in Him. This is why, when we open the New Testament, we read, ‘The Good News of Jesus Christ’. It is the story of a loving and all-powerful God, who seeks to reconcile us to Himself through the ultimate act of love. Christ’s death on the cross was the ultimate selfless act, providing us with the hope of a new life and a restored relationship with God. Therefore, the heart of the gospel is a message of hope and redemption, brought to us through the love of Jesus Christ.

God desires for us to live a life of abundance and fullness, but there is something that must die in order for that to be achieved. Jesus paid the ultimate price for our sins by sacrificing His life on the cross. However, He is also calling us to pick up our own crosses and follow Him. We are not to misunderstand Pastor Eric’s words; Jesus has already paid the penalty for sin. As His disciples, we are expected to pick up our own crosses and carry them faithfully. This is not an easy thing to do and, at times, it can be exhausting. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that Jesus has already taken the burden of sin and death away from us. The cross that we carry is a sign of our commitment to follow Christ and to live our lives according to His teachings. It symbolizes the burden that Jesus has already taken away and the burden that we must take up in order to become His true disciples. Therefore, as we carry our cross, we can do so with the assurance that Jesus has already taken away the penalty for our sins. We can be confident and hopeful that He will be with us as we walk our paths of discipleship.

Read Matthew 16:21-23

As stated in Matthew 16:21-23,

From that time Jesus began telling his followers that he must go to Jerusalem. He explained that the older Jewish leaders, the leading priests, and the teachers of the law would make him suffer many things. And he told his followers that he must be killed. Then, on the third day, he would be raised from death. Peter took Jesus away from the other followers to talk to him alone. He began to criticize him. He said, ‘God save you from those sufferings, Lord! That will never happen to you!’ Then Jesus said to Peter, ‘Get away from me, Satan! You are not helping me! You don’t care about the same things God does. You care only about things that people think are important.

Jesus knew what was ahead of Him as He journeyed to Jerusalem. He was fully aware of the trials and suffering He was to face and even the ultimate consequences of His death. Despite this knowledge, He spoke of His coming resurrection on the third day. Peter, however, could not fathom such a thing and rebuked Jesus, promising to stand by Him and protect Him from whatever was to come.

Read Matthew 16:16-17

However, six verses earlier, in Matthew 16:16, Jesus posed a question to His apostle Simon Peter. He asked. “Who do you say I am?” To this, Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” By this answer, Peter recognized Jesus’ divinity. At this, He commended Peter, saying,

You are blessed, Simon son of Jonah. No one taught you that. My Father in heaven showed you who I am. So I tell you, you are Peter. And I will build my church on this rock. The power of death will not be able to defeat my church. I will give you the keys to God’s kingdom.

Thus, Peter’s declaration was a testament to Jesus’ divinity and a recognition of His unique status as the Son of the living God.

Peter thought he was doing the right thing when he rebuked Jesus six verses earlier. But Jesus did not take it in the spirit that Peter intended. Rather than thanking Peter for his loyalty and support, He said, “Get behind me, Satan!” Peter had said the wrong thing. Peter had meant well, but his words had been misguided. Jesus’ rebuke showed Peter that even though he was a loyal follower, he still had much to learn.

Does this describe your day? After a good start, you stated one too many things. Your comments should have been kept to yourself. Within the same day, you were inspired by both God and the devil.

Pastor Eric is intrigued by the last part of Matthew 16:23, in which Jesus rebukes Peter’s thoughts with an unexpected response. Instead of saying, “Your thoughts are evil”, Jesus said, “Get behind me, Satan!” which implies that Peter’s thoughts did not align with God’s. It is interesting to note that He did not declare Peter’s thoughts as evil, but rather as different from God’s. This shows that Christ did not reject Peter, but rather that He wanted to show him the truth, which was that his thoughts were not in agreement with His Father’s. This is an important lesson for us all to remember: that our thoughts should be in agreement with God’s.

Based on this verse, it is possible that when we think as men do, we are not actually thinking as the Lord thinks, but instead like the devil. This concept was brought up by Reinhard Bonnke, an evangelist of the Pentecostal faith, primarily known for his gospel missions in Africa. He stated that sometimes thinking like men is like thinking like the devil. When we think with our own minds, we are not necessarily thinking with the mind of God. Peter’s words show his loyalty and his understanding of the importance of friendship. He was willing to stand up for his friend. Peter did not say anything bad, but it is important to remember that our own way of thinking can sometimes be a barrier to what God wants to do.

Read Romans 12:2

Romans 12:2 exhorts us to not conform to the patterns of this world, but instead to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. We must make a conscious effort to hear what God said in His Word and to bring our thoughts and concerns in line with His. When we do this, our thought processes will be changed to align with God’s. We must strive to think like Him if we are to experience the transformation He desires for us. The only way to achieve this is to spend time in His Word and to be renewed in our minds by what we learn there. We must allow the Lord to change us from the inside out so that our thinking is in line with His will for our lives.

Read Matthew 16:24-27 and Luke 9:23

Then Jesus said to His followers,

If any of you want to be my follower, you must stop thinking about yourself and what you want. You must be willing to carry the cross that is given to you for following me. Any of you who try to save the life you have will lose it. But you who give up your life for me will find true life. It is worth nothing for you to have the whole world if you yourself are lost. You could never pay enough to buy back your life. The Son of Man will come again with his Father’s glory and with his angels. And he will reward everyone for what they have done.

(Matthew 16:24-27). Luke 9:23 states, “Any of you who want to be my follower must stop thinking about yourself and what you want. You must be willing to carry the cross that is given to you every day for following me. In Luke 9:23, the words ‘every day’ are specifically added to emphasize the importance of taking up one’s cross and following Jesus daily.

A few things to consider

Read Colossians 1:16

First, it is important to recognize that carrying our cross daily is not an invitation to suffer needlessly or to be miserable in life. Jesus died for us to live an abundant life, a life full of joy and fulfillment. He is honoured and glorified when we experience a sense of completeness through Him and in Him. He desires for us to have a full, meaningful existence. “Everything was made through him and for him.” (Colossians 1:16). He is our treasure, our source of joy, peace, and fullness of life. We should not be striving for career success, titles, or financial security, but rather to be content in His presence. We should make it our sole pursuit to spend time in His presence, and all other pursuits should be secondary to that. In doing so, we will find true joy, peace, and fulfillment. Finding our delight in Him is the surest way to true happiness.

Second, carrying our cross daily is not a burden or a nuisance: it is a privilege and honour. Jesus was referring to a call to discipleship when He talked of bearing our cross daily. We must be willing to die to the fleshly desires, the worldly pursuits, and the distractions that keep us from Him. Only through bearing our cross daily and following Christ’s teachings can we experience the joy and peace that comes from living a life in Him. We must be willing to lay down our lives and let Jesus have control if we are truly to be His disciples. We must be willing to surrender all to Him so that He can lead us through our daily lives. Bearing our cross daily is not a burden or a nuisance; it is a way of life that shows our love and devotion to Jesus.

What does it mean to carry our cross daily

According to Pastor Eric, carrying our cross daily involves four key aspects:

It’s a call to die to the flesh

Carrying our cross daily is a call to die to the flesh, to deny it, and to leave it behind. It is a call to do away with all that the flesh desires or seeks after, to completely eradicate it and have no part in it. We are to let go of it completely, to be dead to the desires of the flesh and have no part in its temptations.

Read Galatians 5:19

What is the flesh? The flesh is the nature we have inherited from Adam as a result of the original sin. When we talk about the flesh, we are referring to our tendency towards sinfulness, the craving, and the appetites of our old nature before Christ. The works of the flesh are the manifestations of our old nature and include things such as selfishness, pride, greed, lust, uncontrolled or excessive outbursts of anger, rage, envy, gluttony, laziness, deception, drunkenness, the use of drugs, idolatry, rebellion, unforgiveness, impurity, sexual immorality, and division. The flesh is a reminder of the fallen state of humanity, and our need for redemption and renewal through the work of Christ. We are all affected by the flesh, and it is only through the grace of God that we can be liberated from its power.

In Galatians 5:19, Paul gives a list of the works of the flesh, saying, “But when you follow your own wrong inclinations, your lives will produce these evil results: impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure, idolatry, spiritism (that is, encouraging the activity of demons), hatred and fighting, jealousy and anger, constant effort to get the best for yourself, complaints and criticisms, the feeling that everyone else is wrong except those in your own little group – and there will be wrong doctrine, envy, murder, drunkenness, wild parties, and all that sort of thing. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.”

As believers, it is essential that we understand the seriousness of the flesh and its ability to prevent us from entering the Kingdom of God. The works of the flesh are contrary to the will of God, and they lead us further away from Him. Therefore, it is important that we recognize the need to die to the flesh in order to be pleasing to the Lord. The flesh is not only contrary to the will of God, but it is also dangerous. It has the power to lead us away from the path of righteousness and can cause us to become ensnared in the world, instead of focusing on the things of God. That is why it is so important to recognize our need to put to death the things of the flesh.

Read Romans 8:13 and Galatians 5:17

According to Romans 8:13, “If you use your lives to do what your sinful selves want, you will die spiritually. But if you use the Spirit’s help to stop doing the wrong things you do with your body, you will have true life.”

We must come to terms with the fact that we are in a perpetual battle against ourselves. The enemy we are fighting against is not always external, but sometimes internal. The sin that resides within us often times causes us to act in ways that are counter to the Spirit. Galatians 5:17 speaks to this struggle as it states that “the sinful self wants what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit wants what is against the sinful self. They are always fighting against each other so that you don’t do what you really want to do.” This is a reminder that we must be aware of our inner struggle, and be mindful of how it manifests itself in our daily lives. We must be conscious of how our flesh and spirit conflict, and how we can choose the Spirit over the flesh. Through this understanding and awareness, we can strive to act in ways that are pleasing to the Lord.

Read Galatians 5:24

Galatians 5:24 is clear that believers in Christ Jesus must renounce their sinful nature and abandon their former desires and pursuits of wickedness. This means that we must be willing to crucify our fleshly desires and actions, to completely eradicate them from our lives. We need to be conscious of the fleshly tendencies that can still linger in us and make sure to root them out. It is essential to understand that Pastor Eric is not talking about occasional slips in judgment or mistakes that happen in the heat of the moment. He is speaking to the idea of engaging, practicing, justifying, and standing firm on our ground when it comes to sinful desires. This is known as living in the flesh, and if a believer persists in doing so, there are several negative consequences to be faced. For example, when it comes to spiritual maturity, it is possible for a person to hit a plateau that can hinder their growth as a follower of Christ. This is why many churches have believers who have been Christians for years, such as 20, 30, or 40 years, who still display immature behaviour when it comes to their spiritual life.

Someone said, “Spiritual maturity is not reached by the passing of the years, but by obedience to the will of God.” It is true that spiritual maturity is not achieved by the mere passage of time, but rather by obedience to God’s will. Reading the Bible is important and helps us to grow in our faith, but it’s not the only component of spiritual maturity. Someone Pastor Eric knew put it best when he said, “It’s not about going through the Bible, it’s about letting the Bible go through you.” Thomas Brooks also said it well when he said, “To read much and practice nothing is to hunt much and catch nothing.” Obedience is the key to spiritual maturity and the Bible provides us with the instructions we need to do so. We must not only read the Bible, but also apply the teachings and principles to our lives. As we do, we will grow in our faith and our spiritual maturity will be evident.

Read Revelation 2:20-21 and John 14:21

Are we still walking in the flesh? If so, it will surely lead to consequences. We will reach a point in our spiritual journey with the Lord where we will no longer be able to progress. Our close relationships will be damaged. We will become ineffective Christian witnesses, unable to share the Word of God and the Good News with those who need to hear it. We risk separation from God’s blessings in our lives. His graces and mercies are so rich and plentiful, but there comes a time when He will say,

Enough is enough. I gave you time to repent.

Do we take heed of these warnings and turn away from our sinful desires, or do we do like Jezebel and continue down the path of destruction and face the consequences? Jesus had given Jezebel time to repent, but she chose to reject His kindness. (Revelation 2:20-21) The choice is ours to make.

To love Jesus is to obey His commands and be obedient to His will. Christ has promised that He will make His presence known to those who love Him and live their lives in accordance with His Word. This is why it is so important to obey His commands and stay away from sin, as it would eventually lead to us becoming separated from the manifest presence of God. John 14:21 says that

Those who really love me are the ones who not only know my commands but also obey them. My Father will love such people, and I will love them. I will make myself known to them.

This is a reminder that love for Jesus requires us to obey His commands and live our lives in accordance with His will. It is only through obedience that we may experience His presence and ultimately, His love.

The promise of God’s manifested presence is a great blessing, but it is not something that comes to just anyone. Those who truly love God are the ones who receive it. In order to receive this promise, we must walk by the Spirit, and not by the flesh. We must deny our sinful desires and crucify them. We must ask God for help in doing this, and not accept or entertain any desires of the flesh. Victory over sin is possible, but it must be sought after with prayer and steadfast determination.

Every day we must take up our cross and actively strive to put to death the desires of the flesh. When we allow ourselves to indulge in carnal behaviour, it can lead to a separation from God, stunt our spiritual growth, hinder our efforts to serve the Kingdom, and damage our relationship with others. We must take up our cross daily to prevent these harmful outcomes.

Read Matthew 26:41

In Matthew 26:41, Jesus says, “Stay awake and pray for strength against temptation. Your spirit wants to do what is right, but your body is weak.” There are problems in churches today due to carnal behaviour. The Corinthian Church faced a multitude of problems, all of which were the result of immaturity and carnal actions. To counteract this trend, we must be sanctified and cleansed, and become mature in our faith. We must move away from carnal behaviour, and instead focus on living out our Christian values.

We can have victory over the flesh:

  1. a) – Through prayer

When we pray, we are engaging with the Spirit. We are allowing Him to take control of our thoughts and our actions. Praying helps us to overcome our fleshly desires and to be more in tune with the Spirit. As we pray more, we will find that our flesh will become weaker and our desire to follow the Spirit will become stronger. When we struggle with our prayer life, it is often because our flesh is too strong. The cravings of the flesh are contrary to the appetites of the Spirit. Our flesh does not want us to pray, but we must persist in prayer in order to weaken our flesh and strengthen our connection with the Spirit. The more we pray, the more victory we will have over the flesh. We will be able to overcome the temptations of the flesh and instead, focus on the desires of the Spirit.

  1. b) – By walking in step with the Spirit

Read Galatians 5:16 and 5:22-23

In Galatians 5:16, Paul encourages us to live according to the Spirit’s leading, rather than following the desires of our flesh. We are reminded that following the Spirit will lead us away from the “evil things” our sinful desires prompt us to do. Galatians 5:22 further encourages us to walk in the Spirit, as it tells us that the fruit of the Spirit is love. When we choose to walk in the Spirit, it is like giving an uppercut to the flesh. We are able to resist our sinful desires and instead choose to walk in love. The Spirit gives us the power to overcome the temptations of our flesh. We are reminded that living in the Spirit will lead us to a life of love and peace.

Joy is also a fruit of the Spirit, and it is something we should strive to walk in. We should never forget that the Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23). Pastor Eric believes that Christians need a refresher course on what kindness truly is, especially since the pandemic began. We need to reclaim kindness and learn to live it out in our daily lives. Every time we show kindness, every time we walk in step with the Spirit, it is a sign of strength and a reminder that we are starving the flesh. The fruit of the Spirit is a by-product of our relationship with Jesus and is a sign of His presence in our lives.

Every believer should strive to live a life of faith that is empowered by the Spirit. When we walk in step with the Spirit, it helps to weaken the power of the flesh in our lives. We must resist the temptation to react in the flesh and instead feed our spirit with spiritual activities such as reading the Word of God, praying, attending church, serving, and practicing our faith. This is the way to ensure that when temptation comes, we will be strong enough to resist it. The best way to prepare ourselves is to strengthen our spiritual self and make sure that it is the stronger of the two. With consistent effort, we can become spiritually strong and be able to stand firm against temptation.

It’s a call to die to the world.

Pastor Eric is referring to the world system. We all know that we, as Christians, are called to live differently than the world. The world system encourages us to focus on material possessions, self-interest, and power. It is a system that often forgets the bigger picture and the needs of others. As believers, we must not conform to the world’s system of values. Instead, we should put them aside and strive to live according to God’s will. When we do this, we can become an example of His love and grace to the world around us.

Read John 3:16 and Mark 12:30-31

When we use the word ‘world’, we often associate it with people. In John 3:16, John is clearly referring to people when he says, “God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son…” The world he is referring to is composed of people. In fact, as Christians, we are commanded to love God and each other. As a result, the statement to die to the world above refers to not people but to a world system. It generally refers to a perspective or mindset that is influenced by the world’s values, beliefs, and priorities rather than by biblical truths.

The world often encourages us to focus on ourselves and the accumulation of material goods as a way to find happiness. It values individualism above all else, pushing us to seek out immediate gratification. This pursuit of wealth, fame, power, and worldly success has become the norm – and the ultimate goal in life – while spiritual values, moral principles, and an eternal perspective are often pushed to the sidelines. We are taught to prioritize the here and now, rather than the permanent and lasting.

Read James 4:4

As James said in James 4:4, “You people are not faithful to God! You should know that loving what the world has is the same as hating God. So anyone who wants to be friends with this evil world becomes God’s enemy.” Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. This is a serious warning that we should take heed of. When we choose to love the world and its values, we are in essence choosing to become His enemy. This is because when we love the world and its values, we are choosing to go against God’s will and His commandments. We are choosing to place our own desires and wants before His. This is something that we should strive to avoid at all costs, as it will only lead to destruction and ruin.

Read Romans 12:2

As Christians, it is our duty to live for the Lord, and living with a worldly mindset goes against His teachings. This makes us an enemy of God and goes against His values. We are not to align ourselves with the world, valuing the same things as it does. Instead, we must remove ourselves from the worldly mindset and adopt concepts, perceptions, principles, and commandments that come from God. We must die to our worldly mindset and embrace His truth. In Romans 12:2, Paul offers believers clear instruction: “Don’t change yourselves to be like the people of this world but let God change you inside with a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to understand and accept what God wants for you. You will be able to know what is good and pleasing to him and what is perfect.”

The only way to transform ourselves into the people God wants us to be is to develop a new mindset, new values, new priorities and a new way of thinking. We must deliberately renew our mindsets by immersing ourselves in God’s Word. If we are not actively seeking out His Word, and instead just living our lives based on our own impulses, we will be unable to transform in a meaningful way. Rather, we will remain struck in the same frame of mind, unable to make any lasting changes to ourselves or our lives. To truly transform ourselves, we must purposefully engage with God’s Word and allow it to shape our thinking, values, and priorities. Only then can we create lasting transformation.

It’s a call to die to our will and surrender entirely to God.

Read Luke 22:42 and Galatians 2:20

Jesus Christ is the greatest example of the power of prayer. When He knew it was time to go to the cross, He prayed three times for His cup to be removed. This is a powerful example of His willingness to accept God’s will, even when it was difficult and painful. His prayer was not a selfish one, but rather a selfless one, as He wanted His Father’s will to be done, not His own. This is an example of how we should pray every single day, not only for our own needs but also for God’s will to be done in our lives. Jesus’ willingness to accept His Father’s will, even when it was difficult, is a powerful example of how we should approach prayer in our own lives. We should never forget that God’s will is always more important than our own, and that if we pray with a humble and open heart, we can receive the strength and courage to persevere through any difficulty. This is what it means to carry our cross daily.

As believers, we have a duty to follow Jesus and take up our cross daily. Doing so means surrendering our rights to God. Oswald Chambers said it well when he said, “As a Christian, you have a right. It is the right to surrender all your rights to God.” By surrendering our rights, we are submitting to His will and plan for our lives, trusting that He will provide us with what we need. We must remember that although we may think we know what is best for us, God knows better. We must yield to Him and accept the will He has for us. Only then can we truly follow Jesus and take up our cross daily.

Pastor Eric has come to the conclusion that our relationship with Christ is not about how many hours we spend in prayer or in reading the Bible, but about how much we have allowed His character to shape our lives. We can read the Bible many hours a day, but if we don’t take action to become more like Jesus, our efforts are in vain. The moments we spend in prayer and reading the Bible are an opportunity to gain knowledge and to be transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit. To truly honour God, we must put His teachings into practice and strive to become more like Him every day. Are we looking more like Christ this year than we did last year?

It’s a call to die for the sake of the gospel.

Read Mark 8:35

We must be ready to die for the gospel of Jesus Christ. In Mark 8:35, He warns us, “If you insist on saving your life, you will lose it. Only those who throw away their lives for my sake and for the sake of the Good News will ever know what it means to really live.” Jesus is calling us to make a radical commitment to living out our faith, no matter the cost. Taking up our cross daily means embracing the struggles and enduring the sufferings that accompany our walk with Christ. We must be prepared to give up our lives for the gospel.

We must be willing to surrender our own will and desires to the will of God. We must accept that whatever He has planned for us is better than any plans we could make for ourselves. We must be willing to let go of our own ambitions and accept that the Lord’s plan is greater. We must be willing to die to ourselves, to our own will and desires, and to accept that whatever God has in store for us is best. We must come to a place where we are willing to put our own will aside and trust in His plan for us. This is the place where we must come to if we want to experience the fullness of what God has for us.

Watch the video here.