Sermon Illustrations

A "Natural" Rope a dope...

Cross bearing is an indispensable part of a Christian’s life, so that work of moulding a person into a Christ-like image which begins at the point of re-generation is completed in all respects (2 Cor 3:18) by the time of Rapture or one’s departure from the Earthly scene.

What is a cross if it is not something “bothersome” which is “touching” my shoulders? Hey, I cannot say that I am bearing the Cross, if it is say a mile away!!! Remember for a Cross (synonymous with pain) to be carried, it necessarily has to be in touch with your being. There lies the key to understanding what Cross-bearing is all about. The surrounding “unavoidable” irksome circumstances, which one cannot get away from…in the place of education/employment/business or pain within the confines of relationships such as a marriage, parenthood, lure of Worldly attractions’ all around or an infirmity in one’s own body… all constitute a cross. Hallelujah, our God is not unfair in calling us to bear the Cross alone without placing the bubbling joy of the Holy Spirit at the same time within us, giving us the needed impetus, so to say, in our Christian sojourn!!! It is in this rarefied “atmospheric” balance of joy inside-pain outside that a Christian’s character gets built.

Ah speaking of atmosphere …gear up to bare your chest for bearing this “punch of truth”. Even as you are reading this message, do you know that your body is soaking up a close to 7 kgs’ per square inch of atmospheric pressure right now? So why doesn’t your body implode? It would, if not for a wondrous internal “blood pressure” from within that is balancing the External “Air” pressure all the time. Hmmm…a natural rope a dope (thanks Rumble in the Jungle)??? Well, well…God in His infinite wisdom who knew that nearly 5 quadrillion tones of air is needed to sustain all of life on earth, also knew that the same life-giving air without being “balanced” by blood pressure from within the living body can kill it. Boy air-pressure and blood-pressure… one cannot live without the other, because conversely if the air-pressure is withdrawn, the human body would “rupture”, meaning life-sustaining blood (Lev 17:11) would at once ooze out. No wonder, astronauts wear a spacesuit which besides ensuring continuous oxygen supply also ensures that the same atmospheric pressure is exerted constantly on the astronaut’s body (which is so used to it) even in space where there is no air otherwise blood would simply “burst out” of his/hers veins and arteries.

So for Christians’ asking for “Cross” to be withdrawn is a very grievous sin, for it would mean we are asking for the withdrawal of the Holy Spirit also (life-blood of the Spiritual life). The Israelites in the wilderness journey learned this very painful lesson at a terrible cost (Psalm 106:15- KJV). Oh, I pray that none should experience virtually a type of Hell on Earth, which I endured for three months when I petulantly asked my Divine Guide to remove the Cross, some years ago in my Christian pilgrimage. Oh the heights of selfishness which consequently required very excruciating chastisement and cleansing (Mal 3:3)!!! Oh in hindsight, I am better-off after that “spanking” for it led to more spiritual “sparkling” as all spankings invariably result in (Psalm 119:71-72 TLB)!!!

Oh the heights of craftiness of the Evil tempter who can tempt you to run-away from the “temptations” (read Cross) or do away with it (2 Sam 24:1-7/2 Sam 26:1-12) at a time the Good Lord in His Sovereign wisdom wants you to endure the same for your own good. Remember, how the Evil Schemer used his agents to “tempt” Jesus to come down from the Cross with an aim to thwart the Divine redemption plan (Luke 23:35-38). Dear Friends, if the Almighty wants His children to be on the Cross, then we need to hang in there just like our Savior did for though it is painful temporarily, it is the safest place to be, being as it is in the very centre of His perfect will. Praise God if people rob you, because at least you are in “robbed category” rather than being in the “robbing class” (thanks Matthew Henry), by the same token even if you are crucified, Praise God that you are in the “Crucified group”, than in the “Crucifying genre”. Woe unto the latter group for their punishment is eternal, whilst the suffering of the former class is only temporary.

Hmmm…while air pressure and blood pressure sustain life on Earth, the Cross and the joyous Holy Spirit would not only sustain one’s spiritual life but also transform an individual into Christ likeness.

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