Crown or Cross?

Matthew 18 ‘Crown or Cross?”

We all seem enthralled by the Olympics. We covet the gold medals because in our culture winning is what people yearn for. They want to be first and sometimes at all costs. But, Jesus reminds us that being first is not God’s way and in fact to be the winner you must first be the loser. If you want to be first you must be a slave to all and to be like a child. That is not what the disciples wanted to hear and the world does not either. We want to know how to win! How to beat the odds! How to be head of the class! Jesus wanted to remind us that if we are not willing to deny self, pickup our cross and follow Him we are not worthy of being first in the kingdom.

However, we also must be teachable and not be children tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine. We must not remain as a child in our thinking or behavior BUT we are to be childlike in our faith, attitude and our heart.

Too often, I am more concerned about the crown than the yoke and cross.

How about you? 




Am I Ashamed of Jesus?

covering-face-2Tim22 Tim 1&2 “Am I Ashamed?”

Continuing on from our conversation from yesterday’s blog post *if you haven’t read it do so now here  Matt 16 The Right Question* or the blog post below regarding the Right Question as you dialog with unbelievers as to their eternal destiny.

Let’s get personal here.

How would you answer this question: Am I ashamed of Jesus? If not what keeps me from speaking to unbelievers about my faith? When God gives me a divine appointment do I step up to the plate or am I ashamed and do not speak? Is your answer: I don’t know what to say? If that is the case then how do you explain Jesus’ counsel: “do not worry about how to speak or what to say, for what you should say will be given to you at that time?”  [Matt 10:19] Or what Peter said: “always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess.” [1 Pet 3:15]

Do we not trust the Holy Spirit to guide us to speak or not? Paul says “do NOT be ashamed. Don’t be ashamed of the testimony of the Lord. I am not ashamed—don’t you be either.”  And then Paul reminds us of Onesiphorus who was not ashamed of his imprisonment.

Are we ashamed?

That is the real question.

Matt 16 The Right Question

ask matt 16-Matthew chapter 16 

Do you wonder how to start a conversation that will lead to sharing Christ? How about the simple question Jesus asked the disciples? “Who is Jesus?” The world has several answers such as He was a good man and a good teacher. Notice the answers: good man and good teacher. Those answers are the same that Jesus heard when someone came to him asking on how to inherit eternal life and He responded: “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.”

You might ask, what do you consider good? You might be surprised to hear that goodness involves “doing” not being. Listen closely to their standards of what is good and you will certainly hear their own justification based on not the standards of God but on their own standards. I am better than others because I offer my money to the poor, I serve others in the homeless kitchens; I am good to my neighbor. Their standard of “goodness” is the balance scale of works. Then ask if you can share what the Bible says. If permission granted share what Titus [Tit 3:5] and Paul [Eph 2:8/9] explained. God rejects our works. It is only by faith and not works lest we should take credit for our salvation.

Questions and answers reveal their heart. Pray for discernment and the right questions to ask so you may know how to lead them to Christ.