Theme of the Week: Sacrifice and Death
Bible Verse: “And whoever doesn’t take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.” Matthew 10:38 CSB
Scripture Reading: Matthew 10:34-39, Philippians 3:10-11
We are willing to join heartily in singing, “To God Be the Glory,” but we are strangely ingenious in figuring out ways and means by which we keep some of the glory for ourselves. In this matter of perpetually seeking our own interests, we can only say that people who want to live for God often arrange to do very subtly what the worldly souls do crudely and openly.
So we talk a lot about the deeper life and spiritual victory and becoming dead to ourselves—but we stay very busy rescuing ourselves from the cross. That part of ourselves that we rescue from the cross may be a very little part of us, but it is likely to be the seat of our spiritual troubles and our defeats.
No one wants to die on a cross—until he comes to the place where he is desperate for the highest will of God in serving Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul said, “I want to die on that cross and I want to know what it is to die there, because if I die with Him I will also know Him in a better resurrection” (see Philippians 3:10–11). Paul was not just saying, “He will raise me from the dead”—for everyone will be raised from the dead. He said, “I want a superior resurrection, a resurrection like Christ’s.” Paul was willing to be crucified with Christ, but in our day we want to die a piece at a time, so we can rescue little parts of ourselves from the cross.
A man who is always on the cross, just piece after piece, cannot be happy in that process. But when that man takes his place on the cross with Jesus Christ once and for all, and commends his spirit to God, lets go of everything and ceases to defend himself—sure, he has died, but there is a resurrection that follows!
If we are willing to go this route of victory with Jesus Christ, we cannot continue to be mediocre Christians, stopped halfway to the peak. Until we give up our own interests, there will never be enough stirring within our beings to find His highest will.
Taken from From the Grave: A 40-Day Lent Devotional, by A.W. Tozer, ©2017 The Moody Bible Institute of Chicago.
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