Matthew 10:38-39 “And he who does not take up his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.”
Romans 12:1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
It is popular for the evangelist to say “There is room at the cross for you” and what they mean is that grace is available to all. What they mean when they this is true, certainly grace is available to all; however there is NOT room AT the cross for you. As Leonard Ravenhill said, “There IS room ON the cross for you.” There is not room at the cross for you, there is room on the cross for you! Now certainly there is no room on the cross for you to pay for your sins, the Lord has done that, but you are welcomed, even required to climb up on that cross as a living sacrifice holy, and acceptable to God.
In this day of “Best Life Now” Christianity, this notion of self-sacrifice is nearly gone. The thought of laying our own lives and temporal desires down for Christ is viewed as mere fanaticism by most of the Church so called today. Of course we are afraid to push sacrifice on our congregations, for a few reasons. The first being that maybe we ourselves are not walking this world as a living sacrifice. How can we exhort a people to live as a sacrifice, counting their lives as nothing, when we ourselves are not living in that realm? The next reason is numbers, we want to see the body of Christ grow, and that is a good and noble thing to desire. In fact we should not be opposed to, and should be fast to embrace ‘Church (capital C) growth’ but we should loathe simple strategies that are designed only for congregation growth or ‘church’ (small c) growth. There is a big difference.
This life of faith that we believers in Christ are called to live is not one of glamour, but of humility. It is not a life a grandeur, but a life of lowliness. This life is not one of self help, but self abasement. This is not a life of becoming all you can be, but becoming nothing that He may be all in all. This life is not yours, you have been bought at a price. That cross is not something that happened long ago, but it is yours to climb on today. When you are on that cross you are as good as dead, and your life is nothing to you.
Is this a morbid message of death, and some downer of a life? No! Death is the ultimate freedom, and you are free to enjoy its benefits while you yet breathe. Do you care what you look like on the cross? No you are free from that, you are dead! Does the car you drive matter on the cross? No you are free from that. Does your retirement plan matter, your house, your insurance, so on and so forth, no! You are free from slavery to everything in this world the moment you cast yourself on the cross. The moment you count your life lost is the moment you enter into the blessed freedom of Christianity. Listen; before anyone casts a stone, insurance, cars, homes, and retirement are not sinful things. They are good things, useful things, but if we indeed living sacrifices, and dead to the world, then these items have no control over us, and must not be a source of worry, or discontentment to us. They are mere benefits, but they matter very little when you are on that cross.
You do not have a nice home; do you not have a mansion in paradise? You do not have retirement; do you not have an eternal reward to go home to? You do not have the perfect family; are you not going to be forever with the father and your older brother Jesus? You car is junk; will that matter when walking on streets of gold? You are not beautiful; will that matter when staring into His perfect beauty? You are tired and worn out; do you not know that eternal rest is coming?
Do you believe the promises of God concerning the life to come? Do you? Because the things of this earth become strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace, and death to self and to this world should be a natural thing in our lives considering who He is, and what He has prepared for us.
Come, there is plenty of room…
ON the cross for you.