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GROWING IN CHRIST

"Bearing the Cross"

Date published: 09/28/2015
 
2 Corinthians 3:18 “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” (NIV) 

   This verse correlates to the veil Moses put on his face after he met with God in Exodus 34. When Moses spent time with God, God’s glory radiated on his face so that when he appeared before the Israelites, he had to cover his face to dim God’s radiance that shown from him. As followers of Christ this verse is rich in meaning. The more you dwell in God’s presence and step out in faith, the more  you allow the Holy Spirit to transform your life to His likeness resulting in more of God’s glory being shown through you. Isaiah 59:2 points out how sin blocks God, “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.” (NIV) Visually see the sins and strongholds in your life plus any areas of your life that you are holding back from God. Now envision that each of these separates (like a veil) you from God. God is there; He wants to reflect His life through you, but you are resisting Him thus blocking His glory that can be shown in you. Now envision taking those same areas to the throne of God, laying them before Him as a sacrifice and submission to Him. This picture is illuminated in 2 Corinthians 4:10 where the process of dying to self brings life, “We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealedin our body.” (NIV)  

   This type of lifestyle is one that does not focus on judging what is right or wrong, but focuses on bearing the cross. Jesus was not born to illuminate right and wrong, but Jesus was born to go to the cross. In fact, Jesus bore the cross His entire life. Luke 9:23 shows how you are also to live your life this way, “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. (NIV) Your duty is not to judge, but forgive. Your position is not to point out right from wrong, but to love above right and wrong. Your purpose is not to live more righteously, but to die to self in a way that allows God’s ways and love to be illuminated through you.  Do not allow any part of your flesh to block the illuminating love of Christ through you. Allow God’s light in you to illuminate His glory to all. 

Matthew 5:38-45 “You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you:  Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.” (NIV) 
 

Do you know someone who needs this message on being other centered and not me centered? If so, forward this devotion to them as a blessing for their growth in Christ. 

Here are some Bible studies from Growing in Christ to help your transformative experience: “God’s Purpose For You” and “Satisfaction.” 

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