Bulletin Thought - March 2017
March 5, 2017
A Thought from Pastor Bryson,
“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.” (Matt. 16:24 NKJV)
Once again we’ve been blessed to enter into another season of Easter. Some Christians observe Lent, which is a period leading up to Easter (40 days), in which individuals sacrifice something meaningful to them. Observing Lent for 40 days is a way for them to reflect on the sufferings of Christ and also seek to draw closer to God.
When Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me,” He was referring to a lifestyle of “daily denial” of self. While there is nothing wrong with observing Lent, we would do well to everyday deny ourselves for Him who gave up so much for us. Practicing or living a life of self-denial always makes us mindful of His great sacrifice for us.
Jesus also told His disciples to do something else, “Take up your cross and follow Me.” The cross was an instrument of suffering on which convicted criminals were put to death. Jesus died a humiliating and painful death on a cross, although He had done no wrong. He took our sins upon Himself and His death brought forgiveness of our sins and a right relationship with God.
As His disciples, His followers, we are to be willing to suffer for Him and if necessary die for Him who died for us. The cross can be anything that leads to suffering as a result of being a follower of Jesus. We should willingly and with joy bear that cross, always keeping our Lord in mind.
Whether you observe Lent or not, always remember that everyday for a follower of Christ is to be a day of self-denial as “everyday” we should seek to draw closer to Him.