“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” ~Mark 8:34
Consider the impact of what Jesus was telling his disciples at Caesarea Philippi before he had been killed on the cross. Before Jesus actually sacrificed his life at
Sometimes we don’t see the complete picture of the Christ. We embrace the Jesus who heals and forgives and feeds and loves and accepts and saves. We want to follow that Jesus and live like that Jesus. But a Jesus who suffers and dies? Sometimes we don’t see it. And our picture of the Messiah is woefully incomplete. The Savior we teach is less than whole. The Gospel we preach is only partial truth.
Thomas a Kempis wrote in The Imitation of Christ:
“Jesus has many who love his heavenly Kingdom, but few who carry his cross; many who yearn for comfort, few who long for distress. Plenty of people he finds to share his banquet, few to share his fast. Everyone desires to take part in his rejoicing, but few are willing to suffer anything for his sake. There are many that follow Jesus as far as the breaking of the bread, few as far as drinking the cup of suffering; many that revere his morality, few that follow him in the indignity of his cross.”
Jesus didn’t die so I don’t have to; he died to show me how to.
May we get in line at the back of the procession Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 4, “like men condemned to die in the arena” with our crosses on our backs. Following Jesus.
The final numbers are in from Sunday night: 654 meeting in our Small Groups Church; 94 more here at the building; and 30 deaf brothers and sisters, for a grand total of 778 coming together in each others’ homes and at our Legacy campus here to Apply the Word, Connect as a Family, and Evangelize the Community!
778! As far as we can tell up here, it’s the largest Sunday night attendance number in Pipeline-Legacy history! That’s 82% of our Sunday morning attendance! That very well could be the highest Sunday night, percentage-wise, in the brotherhood!
Praise God! And give him all the glory and honor!
Now, what do we do with this?
We should all rejoice that so many of us are obviously commiting to being serious about our Christian walk with our Savior and with each other. It appears that we’re truly ready to open up ourselves and our homes and our families and our very lives to the transforming work of God in Jesus through his Holy Spirit in Christian community.
Now, let’s remain focused on the purpose. Let’s not lose sight of the goal. Let’s continue, knowing it will take time and consistency, to allow our God to change us by his Word, to minister through us by our connections, and to redeem the world through our efforts to evangelize our friends and neighbors.