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And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. Luke 9:23
I'm reading a book called, "God's Best for My Life," written by, LLoyd John Oglvie. In it he writes this:
"Love means the cross. God's mercy was expressed in the cross. He did not condemn the world, but came in forgiving love."
Then he asks, "What is our cross?"
"We can understand and accept our cross only if we accept the essential meaning of his cross. In his cross he suffered for the sins of the whole world so that mankind might be forgiven. Our cross, then, is forgiving and forgetting what people have been and done."
"The Christian life begins with crucifixion - our own. Becoming a Christian means a death-like surrender of our life to Christ. We die to our own rights, control of our life and plans for the future. We will be willing to be made willing to receive, do, go, stay, speak and serve as he wills. Christ comes to live within us to express his loving mercy for others through us."
"We forgive, because we have been forgiven. People do not need to measure up any more than we have to measure up in order for God to love us."
"There will be a cross in every relationship and responsibility we encounter today. At the heart of each situation is a point of surrender to seek first the Lord's will. There will be people to be loved and forgiven. Most of all, there will be a constant flow of opportunities to care for people as if caring for our Lord...To make Christ's plans our plans will spell a cross of death to self-will..."
"Our cross is people - persons who need our forgiveness... We cannot carry our cross alone. When we dare to be a forgiving person, we need the Lord's help daily, and many times through the day."
This was an eye-opener for me and I believe he is right. When I think of Jesus on the cross, why he is there, what was done to him, forgiveness is what he gave that day. People betrayed him, slapped his face, spit on him, beat him up, whipped him, laughed at him, lied about him and hated him,
And he taught us, before that terrible day, that we must forgive those who do these things to us. That is our cross. May God strengthen us to bear it with him.