Take Up Your Cross – Become A Servant

For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. – Galatians 5:13-14. As one who yearns to know the LORD with a closeness that expands the bounds of space and time, are we doing all that we can for Him? Are we forsaking our selfishness and desires and sacrificing them for the needs of others? Are we denying ourselves, carrying our cross, and becoming a servant for the LORD? Are we letting go, of the old man? Are we giving thanks to the LORD by GIVING our thankfulness to others. Take up your cross, and follow me.

But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. Use hospitality one to another without grudging. As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. – 1 Peter 4:7-11. What does the Bible tell us about fervent charity? What specifically does it mean? Let us look closely at the KJV Bible using e-Sword and the Strong’s Concordance.

We are told in Luke chapter 2, “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Christ came by perfect example, living a life of sacrifice, showing us not only the truth, but also the way, and the life. And, He did the work that no other man could do, so that we all could have the opportunity to return Home again. Don’t waste your eternal life on occasions to the flesh. Don’t continue, as the prodigal son. Take up your cross, follow me, and become a servant. Forget the things which are behind, and reach forth unto those things which are before. We are to be in the world, but not part of it. The above definitions are telling us that without ceasing, we are to be showing benevolence to the Father by sharing His affection, His Love, and His Word with others. We are to be “feasting” on charity.

We are told in Isaiah 58, “To loose the bands of wickedness, undo the heavy burdens, let the oppressed go free, break every yoke, deal our bread to the hungry, bring the poor that are cast out to our house, when we see the naked, that we cover them, and not to hide ourselves from our own flesh.” Jesus parallels this understanding in Matthew 25. “For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Jesus saith unto them, deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow me.

In What Is The Will Of God, we are taught more about loving our neighbors as ourselves. We also go into the Parable of the Poor Widow, and the Parable of the Sower. Here is a video that ties the two together in similarities and leads us to understand more about the seed that was sown amidst the stony places, and the seed that was sown amidst the thorns.

So, you have come to understand who we are and what we all did? Yep, it totally sucks. Yet, knowing this isn’t the end. Going right back to living the way things once were, being offended by the WORD, you wither away. So, you know that we are angels, the prodigal son’s, and figured out that we should no longer be having sex? You have become an Eunuch for the LORD. What does the Parable of the Sower go on to say about the thorns? I will paraphrase it for you. “Father, I’d really like to help you today, but I am busy. My spouse is nagging me, they are asking me to work long hours, I have to plan for the Holidays, my family is asking me to do this or that with them, I really need the long hours because I have things that I want to do, and places that I would like to go, I am planning for my future, and fill in the blank with whatever excuse that you could potentially come up with. “And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.” – Luke 16:15-16. Take up your cross, and follow me.

“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” – Matthew 6:21-23. Those knowing how late the hour truly is, “Fear God, and GIVE glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” For my friends and “brothers,” wake up. “Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.” – Proverbs 4:24-27. “I am not here to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

Humility… Father forgive me. If you understand the prodigal son, and what happened to Lot’s wife, why are you still living in this world? “Don’t look back.” “And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.” Continue your walk with Him, letting go of everything else. Does anything in this world matter more than your eternal life? “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Be a good soldier of Jesus Christ. Deny yourselves, take up your cross, and follow me.

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” – Hebrews 4:12. When you walk in His ways, you don’t need protection, you will have the whole armor of God, you will be his battle axe and weapons of war. Stand up in Him. What can man do to you? “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.” – Hebrews 11:7-8. “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Choose… Wisely…

In true form, as something of this world always comes to mind (and all glory goes to the LORD), consider Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. At the Temple of the Sun, or Grail Temple, there exists a great seal that lay before the entrance. Three challenges await you. The Breath of God – “Only the penitent man will pass.” The Word of God – “Only in the footsteps of God will he proceed.” The Path of God – “Only in the leap from the lion’s head will he prove his worth.” Jesus saith unto them, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.” It is exact. Just go back and replace the words with your understanding. Everything in this world is Biblical. Although, it was created to give glory to another, and openly mocks the LORD God. Now, it’s time to close your eyes to it and take a “leap” of faith. “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me.”

With love,

Jonathan Heller – Lift Up A Banner