Your Cross. Your Responsibility.

Luke 9:23

And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

What is your cross?

As this Scripture indicates, to follow Jesus requires each of us to place our wants and desires secondary to Him, and accept daily our responsibility toward God and others.

But this still begs the question, what is your cross to carry?

Jesus’ daily cross was to fulfill the mission he accepted from the foundation of the world from His God. His daily exercise to cross the “T” and dot the “i” in a godly manner involved working in the carpentry shop before his public ministry and then the pronouncement and teaching of His Kingdom before others in the last three years of his earthly venture. He carried the responsibility of moving events toward his trial, execution, and resurrection. He laid the foundation for a Church to outlast history. His incarnate actions were done as a substitute for you and I. He reflected God’s intentions in all his actions and words. He learned obedience through his daily struggles. He experienced pain and suffering as a human. He knew the hatred others had for him yet lived each day resting in His Father’s Will and bore the responsibility of teaching and serving others in God’s name.

That was His cross. But what is the cross you carry?

As we mature in life, we begin to accept greater and greater responsibility. Some people seek it out which is normal in our earlier adult days. Others have responsibility thrusts upon them by others and either meet the call or succumb to its weight. Then others accept commitments toward a personal goal or relationship and hold themselves personally accountable toward fulfilling that decision.   

Your cross in the eyes of others may be a minor stone you have to carry each day. But to you the perception is the other way around. Your cross is a large boulder which requires all your strength and focus each day while your friend’s cross is a pocket stone. And they likewise see it the other way around.

Your cross may be the burden of a broken relationship; financial hardship caused by outside forces outside your control; or maybe the outcome of back to back poor decisions which has left you beaten, broken, and busted. Yet, these are the cards you have and Jesus says accept your situation and take the responsibility to fix it by following him toward your new future. You may be a single mom working three jobs and raising two children. You may be a widower in poor health caring for someone else who likewise is struggling through life. Or you may be an entrepreneur putting yourself together again after failing in your third business venture.

Your cross may be a defective health issue that has you struggling each day simply to get around. Or maybe even the threat of your life for leaving your previous religion to follow Jesus. And yet others, it may simply be to marry the person who birth your child out of wedlock and give them a father and home-life as a foundation for a successful life.

As a Christ follower, it is not about you. Each of us has a boulder to push, a mountain to climb, or an ocean to cross. To follow Jesus requires us to accept the responsibility of completing the race before us with all its obstacles. Not as a victim nor an evil rabble rouser, but as a child of the living God. As we accept personal responsibility for our actions, and trust Jesus to lead us via the Holy Spirit, we will find meaning and purpose with our life. In fact, you will find yourself growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ unto maturity as a believer and finisher of your faith.      

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

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What is My Responsibility?

And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Mt 22:37, Lk 10:27, Mk 12:30

Heaven and Earth merging together is from Revelation 21 where the culmination of everything is taking place and God presents us with a new heaven and new earth merged together in the same dimension. All this happens after the return of Jesus Christ. In our Lord’s prayer we always ask “for God’s Kingdom to come and His Will to be done on earth as in heaven” and here it is finally, totally fulfilled.

Until then though, as Jesus followers, we are commissioned to serve our King by colonizing our corner of the world. How? By implementing God’s governmental (His Kingdom) way of serving others as Christ served His Father and others while he walked the earth.

In theological terms, when Jesus lived, died, and was resurrected, he rescued the human race. From a transaction view, he basically purchased us from Satan. From a relational view, he included the entire human race with Him in his finished mission at the cross. Therefore, every person we meet is connected to Jesus Christ whether or not they are aware of that truth.

Those of us who acknowledge that reality, and have surrendered to our King, are now engaged in full time service with our King. So, as we serve others (Matt 25), we are serving Jesus himself. On the other hand, those who are still ignorant of their relationship with Jesus, are still valued by Christ, and hopefully over time will come to realize who they truly are in relationship with Him, change their worldview (repent) and believe the good news.

Now there are those in the Reformed theological bent who strongly believe that God has left mankind on their own to bring about utopia. That God’s time table is predicated on how well we perform our responsibilities. On the other extreme there are those who believe that God is going to make everything happen no matter what we do. I believe the truth is somewhere in between.

The Book of Ephesians (2:10) reveals that each of us are created by God in Christ with unique talents and abilities for assignments prepared beforehand to do good work. As God opens our eyes to see the needs of people around us, we are to reach out and serve from God’s love for others in the same attitude Jesus describes in Luke 17:10. When the assignment is completed, we only did what is expected of us.

So, as usual, the questions and thoughts about our responsibility as Christ followers are never truly simple answers. My reply is a small smorgasbord of the bountifulness that is found in Jesus Christ. I have slowly learned however in my case, whenever I put more emphasis on me doing something rather than on Christ, I begin to drift away from the grace of God and become more judgmental of others in comparing the performance of others too my standard of Christianity. It always gets me in trouble. So, I like to always go back to Jesus and his relationship with His God and how Jesus served others. And even there I often get caught up in perceiving Jesus from my perspective rather than from the eye of Scripture.

When we recall our responsibility is to love God and others like Jesus loves us, and faithfully live it out each day, isn’t that asking for perfection? Yet isn’t that what God expects from each of us? And doesn’t that expression look differently for all of us?  That is why we all so often look at the same portrait and leave with differences of opinion. But then again, isn’t that what makes life so much more exhilarating and unpredictable when you know you are safe in God’s hand fully living out His purpose while your brother and sister is doing the same? Expressing God’s love with and through people comes in many forms. Your unique way is one way. So why do others believe everyone else must show God’s love the same way they do?

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!


Copyright 2013-2020 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Steward Well

Matthew 25:21
His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’

s1

Do you want to serve in a great ministry?  Then start right where you are at. Your ministry will become great when you focus on the smaller details of God’s Kingdom.

He has given you the responsibility to steward the resources at your disposal. You say you have only very little? That is OK; steward well. You are from a small family with few relational connections? That is OK; steward well. You have no job? That is OK; steward well. You have a physical disability? That is OK; steward well. No matter how much or how little you have; start today and steward well with what you have at your disposal.

We all manage the resources we hold for maximum impact. Most of us are still trying to hoard what little we have instead of sharing it with others. Somewhere we still believe the pie is limited and don’t really understand God’s Kingdom economics. Even though Jesus multiplied the five loafs of bread and two fish to feed at least 5,000 people, we have trouble believing it can be done again with the resources at our disposal.

For to steward well is to trust God.

When you truly understand that everything is own by God and given you to manage with Him, you gladly hold yourself accountable to Him. You first seek His purpose before succumbing to your desires. You gladly (and sometimes reluctantly) follow through with His instructions for you. Over time, we learn that He continually provides as we learn to trust Him and walk with Him.

For most of us, our faith will be tested through the “small things” in life. However, it is through the small and routine avenues of life where our strength is developed and trust in God becomes real. So that when the “big one comes”, we will simply do what we have done our entire life – trust God and steward well.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
Great Business Emulates a Good God
Be Radical…Follow Christ!
Simply The Messenger
Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!


Copyright 2013-2018 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved