"Bear your cross as you wait for the crown..." As we sung these words from the song “O Come to the Altar” by Elevation Worship last Sunday in church, I was struck by the simplicity yet the complexity of them. To bear our cross signifies the loss of our old ways of dealing with adversity that comes through life. In these simple words lay the act of persevering through the suffering in our flesh that leads us to the accomplishment of bearing the fruit of godly character in that same life. Discarding the old clothes full of unsightly wrinkles that adorn our old man-made covering, to press out our lives as we press in to our Lord’s ways.
We hear the words of bearing our cross, yet the word cross is significantly impacting in itself. I think sometimes we think it a noble thing that signifies our status as Christians, when in reality it signifies a harsh, painful, path to death.
As we sung the words, I wondered how many who uttered them in harmony with the congregation would run from the reality of it in their lives. Often, we would rather blame others for the harshness of the suffering we would need to embrace in order to gain the joy and hope of a crown. For through the suffering of bearing our cross, we persevere in order that that Christ-centered character is developed in us by the grace of God working in us to teach us to say no to the old and yes to the new. Then we wait for his glorious return and step into the heavenly realm with Jesus, fully made ready by His Spirit. Our wicks trimmed, our oil container full, we’re waiting for the bridegroom’s return.
Will you embrace your cross in order to gain your crown today? Allow the Spirit of Grace to lead you throughout this transformation of your life and wait on Him.
Prayer: Lord, help us to reach not for the old ways, but for Your new ways, when we face our cross. Teach us to say no to those worthless clothes we use to wrap ourselves in to handle life's issues and cling to Your robes of righteousness. Clothe us in Your garments of praise as we persevere through the death of our old nature. Make us new! Give us strength to walk through the transition process of developing Your character in our lives, as we wait for your return. Amen.
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