And He said to them all, "If any man will [willingly choose to] come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me." Luke 9:23
Each of us who desires to personally know and serve the Lord must first make this life-changing decision to "take up our cross." When we willingly do this, our present relationship to the Lord, and also our eternal position in the ages to come, will be greatly affected.
If we accept this challenge ("If anyone will come after Me"), the taking up of our cross must become a practical, daily reality in our lives. Many do not realize, or take seriously, the tremendous value of all that our Lord will make available to us as a result of the "willing" submission of our lives to His Lordship.
Come, My beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages. Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grape appear, and the pomegranates bud forth: there will I give thee My loves. Song of Solomon 7:11-12
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
Once we have received this "gift" of eternal life through the Blood of Jesus and the regeneration of the Holy Spirit, we will begin to face choices that affect our rate of spiritual growth, as well as our position in the eternal ages before us.
OUR PERSONAL IDENTITY IN CHRIST
It is imperative that we realize our personal identity in Christ. In Colossians 2:9 we discover this central fact concerning Christ Jesus: "For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily."
Our outlook on life is changed as we comtemplate: "And you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power." (Colossians 2:10)
"You are complete," which means we lack nothing at all, as we abide in Him. Abiding in Christ and allowing Him to flow freely out of us enables us to function with the greatest degree of success, thus discovering God's CALLING upon our life.
Matthew 7:8 -- "For everyone who keeps on asking receives; and he who keeps on seeking finds; and to him who keeps on on knocking, the door will be opened." AMP
Understanding our true identity is essential in order to obtain our divine DESTINY.
We are called to succeed in advancing the Kingdom of God on earth -- to walk in overcoming victory: "...because as He is, so are we in this world" (1 John 4:17)
Romans 6:11,13,14 - "Think of yourselves as dead to sin but alive to God in union with Christ Jesus. Nor must you surrender any part of yourselves to sin, to be used for wicked purposes. Instead, give yourselves to God, as men who have ben brought from death to life, and surrender your whole being to Him to be used for righteous purposes....you do not live under law but under God's grace."
The yielded life is essential for us to walk in the fullness of God's PURPOSE for our lives -- as we empty ourselves of the things we hold on to, allowing Him to have His perfect work within us.
"To him who is overcoming, I will give him to eat from the hidden manna, and I will give to him a white stone, and upon the stone a new name written, that no one knew except him who is receiving [it]." - Revelation 2:17 Young's Literal Translation
The promise of the Lord is "to him that overcomes." As we overcome our "self-life" through willing obedience to the leading of the Holy Spirit, He will bring into our life experience the "good land," -- as we are prepared to bear fruit for the harvest.
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