Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star at its rising and have come to worship him.”
~ Matthew 2:1-2, LEB ~
The reality of life confronts us with its beauty and its treachery. And such reality helps us see that our existence in mortality is traversing through this wilderness. Life experiences move us. Sometimes renewed by hope and courage. Other times dismayed and frustrated by disappointment and frustration. Such is the reason that the reality of willfully committing self toward living a mindful and crucified Christian life opens our mind and eyes to learn how to be renewed, restored, and strengthened. It also opens our eyes and mind to those fears one needs to face.
Sometimes this overwhelms us and do not know which way to turn or how to make an appropriate decision. Some may have rejected the call to pursuit Christ because of deeply rooted bitterness and resentment.
“People have offended me in the Church.” One shares.
“I was hurt because no one acknowledged me, and I felt alone and unwanted” Another claims
“I’ve prayed and there seemed to be no answer. I don’t think God really exists.” Someone states
One considers such statements as unfair punishments as an excuse to no longer seek fellowship or to build a genuine and real relationship with the Savior. However, there are those who turn from these embittered resentments and out of sheer desperation pursuit after Christ. To know him, to seek healing, to find forgiveness, grace, and mercy. They, willfully and faithfully, place trust in the hands of our Heavenly Father, and are committed to take up their own personal cross and deny themselves of all fears, resentments, and bitterness. An individual shares how such a courageous act of surrender and trusting in His will was something of a great relief. Their burdens suddenly became lighter. No one is capable of professing how such a divine act happened – yet they never forget that moment of experiencing the love of our Heavenly Father and learn how to trust God to the degree of their faith.
Committing ourselves to the idea of denying ourselves and taking up our cross means we are willing to pursue after Christ. It is our genuine response to His invitation to follow after Him. It is how we cultivate a genuine and personal relationship with the Savior as we come unto Him. And one will experience the blessings and promises of our Heavenly Father as one is willing to live faithfully to the teachings and principles of the Gospel message.
Do you feel it is increasingly difficult to come unto Christ and follow Him? What fears do you have to face, and overcome, in order to resolve your commitment to follow Him? What challenges are you facing that is preventing you from pursuing after Christ?
Even in the smallest and minute details of everyday life causes frustrations. And it may require one to take a step back and take a deep breath. Lifting our hearts and minds toward our Heavenly Father. The more we pursue after Christ in fellowship and discipleship, the more we rise above those distractions and struggles of the day. Knowing we are not alone for Christ is here – faithfully guiding us through the power of the Holy Spirit. He is patient with us. His love for us knows no bounds. So, if we consistently pursue Christ – He will bring sweet peace to our troubled heart and soul.
Today’s Thought and Reminder
Coming unto Christ and following him by denying self and taking up our cross daily is a discipline by which we pursue hard after Christ and the will of our Heavenly Father. The will of the Father is communicated with us through the avenues of our wills, emotions, and minds. And it comes the moment the Holy Spirit pierces our hearts (Acts 2:37) and awakens within us a strong kinship with Christ, and that of our Heavenly Father.
Far too many individuals appear to be complacent in their faith and relationship with Christ. It is a disease of our hearts and minds that stunts any spiritual growth. Results in Christ wanting us to come unto Him and an individual not willing to walk faithfully and obediently into genuine discipleship.
Have you experienced spiritual complacency in your own personal life and faith? Know there is healing and restoration as you put away all efforts to impress self and others. To truly humble self and with contrition of heart, mind, and spirit – come unto Christ and take up your cross to faithfully commit in following after Him. If not, then are you truly pursuing after Christ every day?
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