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Text Sermons : J.R. Miller : August 11. No Cross, No Crown!

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"Then Jesus said to His disciples: If anyone would come after Me — he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me!" Matthew 16:24

The cross is to be taken up — not simply borne when laid upon the shoulder. This implies willing, cheerful suffering for Christ. Some people endure trials — but always with repining. The spirit of these words requires cheerfulness in suffering for Christ. Half the trial is gone — if we meet it in this glad spirit.

Notice again, it is his cross — and not some other man's — which each one is to take up. It is the particular cross that God lays at our own feet — which we are to bear. We are never to make crosses for ourselves — but we are always to accept those which are allotted to us. Each one's own cross — is the best for him. Sometimes we think our situation is peculiarly hard, and we compare it with the situation of this or that other person — and wish we had his cross instead of our own. But we do not know what other people's crosses really are. If we did — we might not want to exchange. The cross that seems woven of flowers, if we put it on our shoulders — we might find filled with sharp thorns under the flowers. The cross of gold that seems so bright — we would find so heavy that it would crush us. The easiest cross for each one to bear — is his own.

There is a way to get the crosses out of our life altogether. A father explained it thus to his child. Taking two pieces of wood, one longer than the other, he said: "Let the longer piece represent God's will, and the shorter piece your will. If I lay the two pieces side by side, parallel to each other, there is no cross; it is only when I lay the shorter piece across the longer that I can make a cross. So there can be a cross in my life only when my will falls athwart God's, when I cannot say, 'May Your will be done.' If my will sweetly acquiesces in His — there is no cross."

The way to take out the crosses is therefore always gladly to accept, through love to Him — whatever trial, pain, or loss God sends.

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