Daily Success
Institute in Basic Life Principles

Command 28 : Deny Yourself | Day 193

Follow With Your Cross of Glory!

The little band of students from Oxford University returned to their campus after distributing food to hungry prisoners and teaching destitute children. They were met with the jeers and ridicule of fellow students who mocked their disciplined lives. Some cried out in derision, "Methodists! Methodists!" because of the precise rules and methods that they followed.

As these "Methodists" were being publicly reviled, another student noticed them and saw in their lives a depth of commitment to God that he wanted in his own life. As he spent time with them, the group's leader, Charles Wesley, encouraged him to put his faith and trust in Christ for salvation. Later, this student became a world-renowned preacher, drawing tens of thousands of people in colonial America to his open-air meetings. As a result of the ridicule suffered by believers in England, God was glorified in the United States as the preaching of George Whitefield influenced many of that nation's Founding Fathers.

“Whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:27).

We can expect to encounter trials and tribulations as we take up our cross and follow Jesus, because the servant is not greater than his Lord (see Matthew 10:24). If envious religious leaders and the crowds reviled Jesus, they will also revile us. However, there is much to gain by going through public reproach for our faith. “If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified” (I Peter 4:14).

The Apostle Paul suffered greatly as he carried out the work God called him to. He was thrown into prison, threatened, flogged, and beaten, but still he wrote, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18). Paul goes on to explain that he is able to have this perspective because “we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

Carrying our cross as we follow Christ should not be done grudgingly as a necessary evil, but we should rejoice in the fact that it is ultimately for our good and will bring glory to God. “Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven …” (Luke 6:22-23).

Suffering reproach for the sake of Christ fulfills the highest calling of man, which is to bring glory to God.

Before Jesus died, the cross stood for a public curse; now it stands for a marvelous blessing. Before, it meant defeat; now it means victory. Before, it was a means of painful death; now it is the way to joyful life. Let's follow in the steps of our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, “… who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross …” (Hebrews 12:2).

“If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23).

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Contributing writer: Bill Gothard