Jesus welcomed the people, taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed those in need. Luke 9:11
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Seeds of the Kingdom

The Cross to the Crown

by Jim Person

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
Titus 2:11-14, NIV

"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.

Jim Person Jim grew up in Alaska and from a small child commercial fished every summer with his family. God called him, his wife Tanya, and their four children to move to Hungary as missionaries in 2003. God then led him to join Ellel Ministries in 2005. After serving in various positions with Ellel in Central and Eastern Europe, God led them back to the United States, where he is now serving with the Ellel USA team. Jim and Tanya have a passion to see leaders restored, the church discipled and walking in God’s fullness of life and freedom. They also love mentoring the existing and developing Ellel teams wherever God leads them. Jim also has a real gift for working with the land to create a beautiful and welcoming environment.


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