“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me.”
Matthew 16:24 NLT
“Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to follow Me [as My disciple], he must deny himself [set aside selfish interests], and take up his cross [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow Me [believing in Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me].”
MATTHEW 16:24 AMP
Much of modern Christianity in America is about what God has done or what God will do for me or mine. It is ego centered. It is also founded on what “I” or “WE” believe. If you hold a different idea, the “I” will take it personal and see it as an attack on them.
However Christ taught, a faith that is based on relationship. A relationship where we as the followers, follow the teacher. (Christ) Our mission to to tell everyone about the Good News that they are invited to receive the adoption that was purchased through the Love and work of Christ. That we as a community of faith, a family if you will, should love one another, help one another and understand that we are stronger together than alone.
America was founded on an idea of individualism. My rights, My dreams, My Hopes and my fears. This is counter to the teachings of Jesus. Sometimes I think the cross of which Jesus spoke is a life of service to others. To love the unlovable and undeserving based in human judgments. But in God’s judgment, they are the beloved, the ransomed and the redeemed. We are either about God’s message, mission or purpose or our own.
If we make God in our American image, we are able to compromise in order to succeed. That is the American way. However, God is not American, Christian or even political. God is! Change has to happen in our hearts, minds and ways, not God’s.
I love America and our freedoms. But I also recognize that my faith is not in politics, or governments. My faith is in Christ and His work of Grace that is for all people- the Whosoever!
Our Selves (egos) was formed as we navigated our lives through hurts, pain and darkness. We formed and created a false self that served us as we tried to protect and comfort ourselves in spite of what life had given us.It was our best efforts to protect ourselves.
However, Christ calls on us to surrender this “false life” for a better one. One that He will bring about and one we with Him will co-create! A life that is not centered on me out of fear, but a life that is directed out to others in Love. This is where our purpose is born. Think about the things in life that really brings you alive. These are the times where you are in service of others and directed out from yourself.
Lord, may my faith not be in myself alone but in my-self surrendered and put on your altar and into your hands. Mold me, make me and create in me a clean heart, a heart like yours!