“looking unto Jesus”

What is the “cross” that you bear? It may take time to come to your own personal realization of what your cross to bear is, but in following Christ you will have a cross to bear. And not only to “bear”, but to take it up and follow Him. To follow His example of bearing the cross.

By a “cross”, I do not mean something in our life that comes and goes such as little aches and pains. Little difficulties that we all have in life is not our cross in which we are called to bear. A cross that was given to us, was not something that we sought out to find one day.

It was given to us by God, by no choice of our own. It was personally designed for us to bear. Why? So that through it we would become all that God has and wants for us while on this earth. This would be a pain, a burden, something tangible for us to continually take to His cross and there die to it daily, or in some cases, moment by moment.

It is easy for us to look at someone else and see their cross in life. Some are very obvious for all to see. Others are mainly unseen to outsiders. Does one persons cross carry more weight than others? Good question isn’t it?

However, we only get to walk in our shoes in this life. We can only truly relate to what we have experienced. What we have gone through. This is why it is such a blessing when we come across someone that has gone through similar circumstances as we have. And I say here, “similar”. That is because, each cross may be very similar, but it is still very different. Why? Because each person is different. Each circumstance is different. Each cross is different.

God knows us way better than we know ourselves. He alone knows what we can handle in life. He also knows, that in what stage of life could we handle this cross. We may have gone years and years in our life with no real cross to bear. Life up to this point has been relatively easy and good. Oh, there has been some real difficulties, some real challenges to face and overcome, but when “the cross” comes, it out weigh all previous crosses that we thought were tough.

This morning when I was thinking about my cross, I was blessed to have God encourage me with his word. In time of need, there is nothing like His Word and Spirit to uplift us and give us the strenght to carry on.

God gave us his Son for many reasons. I would think that they would be countless if we tried number them. But one good reason is that He alone was our example to us who are in this flesh. He also lived on this earth and lived in this flesh. He knows better than anyone else, what “cross bearing” is like. Why? Because he is “the cross bearer”.

He yells out at this moment, “come unto me all ye” that have crosses to bear! “place them upon me!”

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,” (Heb.12:1). If we are temped to take out the violin and start a “pity party”, we must go to the scriptures and check out those who have gone on before us. Hebrews the 11th chapter is a good place to start.

“let us lay aside every weight,”. Every care, every concern, every burden and every cross.

“and the sin which so easily ensnares us,”. Any and every sin must go, if we are to go forward in this life. Why? Because it “ensnares” us. It traps us. It ties us up and we are soon in bondage again. We are to “lay” them all aside at the feet of “The cross of Jesus”.

“and let us run”. Wow! Now that we have done all of the above, we can “run”. The weight has been taken off. No longer a back pack full of bricks.

“with endurance the race that is set before us”. Christ alone gives us the endurance. We all have a personal “race” set before us. A personal course that includes a cross. A cross that we are called to “take up” and follow Him. (12:1)

And now for the key!
“looking unto Jesus, the author (originator) and finisher (perfecter) of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured (where have we seen that word before?) the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (12:2)

Here is our example! Jesus The Christ! Author and finisher of our faith!

How did He “endure” the cross? How are we to “endure” the cross?
Through “the Joy” that is set before us!
Father increase the Joy! We must have this “Joy” to be able to “endure” this cross!
The true joy that we will someday sit at Jesus’ feet at God’s throne. That’s joy unspeakable and full of glory!


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