The Real Issue:

     There is a serious false teaching in the church today.

     There is no biblical teaching of love of self.   Psychology has corkscrewed its way into the most essential element of discipleship, and that is the taking up of The Cross daily and following Him.

      Matthew 22:36  is not a commandment to approve of one's self.  The verse does not lay out a pre-condition to loving and caring for others. When considering all scripture to interpret this verse,  Ephesians 5:29 is one of many verses that put things in perspective:

       " After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church."  (Amplified Bible)

     We have an enemy whose goal it is to do anything he can to keep us from serving with abandon. And he can absolutely project feelings.  It is possible to feel unlovely and inadequate and still move on and care for others because feeling good about yourself is not a prerequisite to service. 

     The Cross is the place of the death of the flesh.  You are a Soldier of The Cross.  You made the decision that your life would  not be your own, and that you would follow and submit to the Lover of Your Soul.  Submitting to the surgical knife of that Lover certainly does not feel good and does not lend itself to self-love.

     Those who are following hard after Him are always, always ministering to others.  How can a Living Sacrifice (Romans 12: 1, 2) lie on the altar, self-examining before service?

     Having dealt with men and women in ministry for over 40 years,  I have observed that those who have freedom are those who walk in obedience.  Many, many have left behind any substantial devotional life, and rely on knowledge and experience rather than the freshness of the Word and the leading of the Spirit.  

     He disciplines us because we cannot discipline ourselves in our deepest places. 

     Self-examination and repentance are a must for the Soldier of The Cross, but certainly not to assure self-approval.  It must be to let go of all that encumbers and it must be in obedience. 

     God's Word is more real
     Than the way that we feel!

     Soldier, take it to Him and do it aloud.

     Today. 

     


    

     

Your Choice:

     While things around you seem so difficult, the Indwelling Holy Spirit empowers you to choose  according to God's Word.

     Even in grief, misunderstanding, false accusation and extended dearth, there is choice.

     We are always on the move.  Eternity is already Now.   

     The most effective way to deal with emotional pain is to be aware of your countenance and reach out to comfort or encourage someone else.  Resist the temptation to think and talk about  the situation.  The more you think and talk about your problems, the more likely you are to fantasize a solution or fill in the blanks about someone's motive.

     Of great importance is the duty to pay attention to Now, and to look for opportunities to minister.

     Consider the apostle Paul.  Imprisoned.  Beaten.  Deserted, he tells us.  Yet, his letters explode with ministry to and concern for the Brethren.

     You are serious about taking up The Cross and following Him.

     Get out there and do it.

     Tell Him today.  Aloud.
 

   

His: Will:

     Many Believers think they want God's will when in fact, they are looking for a guarantee of success and are wanting the absence of discomfort or mistake.

     Soldier of The Cross, your job is to present yourself as a Living Sacrifice, and you must agree with God whatever that means.  Then and only then, you are free to see where He is and you can easily follow.

     Often wisdom comes from making mistakes.  Some choices bear a sting and result in the determination to seek anything but what has caused pain.  Other choices blast open doors that lead to explosive Glory. 

     We are sojourners and Pilgrims.   The Fall happened.  We are not intended to walk the perfect path on some kind of high level that rides above misunderstanding, failure and betrayal.

     Remember this precious song?

     Sometimes the day seems long, 
     Our trials hard to bear. 
     We´re tempted to complain, 
     To murmur and despair. 
     But Christ will soon appear 
     To catch his bride away! 
     All tears forever over 
     In God's eternal day! 

CHORUS: 
     It will be worth it all 
     When we see Jesus! 
     Life's trials will seem so small 
     When we see Christ. 
     One glimpse of his dear face, 
     All sorrow will erase. 
     So, bravely run the race 
     Till we see Christ. 



     At times the sky seems dark, 
     With not a ray of light; 
     We're tossed and driven on, 
     No human help in sight. 
     But there is One in heaven, 
     Who knows our deepest care; 
     Let Jesus solve your problems, 
     Just go to him in prayer. 



      Life's day will soon be o're, 
     All storms forever past; 
     We'll cross the great divide 
     To Glory, safe at last! 
     We'll share the joys of heaven: 
     A harp, a home, a crown; 
     The tempter will be banished, 
     We'll lay our burdens down.

 

     So Soldier, Look up and keep moving!

Today:

     Today should not be all about preparing for tomorrow.

     Even when executing plans for a future event, there is release in doing the thing that is immediately before you.

     The people around or those who come to mind need encouragement and prayer. The issue is, moving through the present moment with a thought life that lines up with the Word of God.

     In order to line up with His thoughts, there has to be a taking in of His Word. Christian radio and television are not enough. Church is not enough.

     In actuality, we prepare for eternity by striving to enter into the Sabbath Rest (Hebrews 4) and that means living each Today in obedience and looking toward eternity. If we take Him at His Word, we follow Him. We look for Him.

     Soldier of The Cross, be willing to live in newness. And He must reveal to you what that means for you. That happens by prayer.

     Tell Him. Today.

     Aloud.

The Frontier of Faith:

     Faith will take you place that common sense will not go.

     Your walk of faith is unlike any other.  There is no duplication. 

     Most Christians are reluctant to allow the Lord to bring them into the fullness that awaits the eager follower. 

     It is not easy for the flesh.  The flesh kicks and screams for predictability and wants assurance that all will go well.  The flesh craves the approval of others and  fights a vigorous battle to try to get it.

     You must decide what you want. 

     What is beautiful to you? 
     What is eternal?
     How available are you to be led by the Indwelling Holy Spirit?
     Do you actually believe Hew can be trusted?  

     Soldier, there is no possible way you can even imagine what the Lord has for you.  He will never lead you into anything that is apart from His own Life. 

     If you really, really believe He can be trusted and that His Word is true, you can be like the leaf on the tree, available to be taken wherever the wind wants to take it.

     What freedom.

     This will never happen without deliberate affirmative prayer that involves telling the Lord you want a faith-walk and that you will follow Him.

     Tell Him aloud. 
     Right now.

Real Peace:

     There is no Christian nirvana where the Believer is no longer rattled by things.

     But there is a Sabbath Rest (Hebrews 4.)

     There is supernatural freedom when the Soldier of The Cross agrees with God and yields to the surgical knife of the lover of his or her soul.

      Firstly, is God's Word true?
  
     Then, does God listen?
     Is He consistent, or can He be distracted?
     Is He possibly unaware of the extreme results of the situation?
     Do I need to know why, or can I agree that He knows far better than I and that It is ridiculous for me to see if I approve of His reasons?
     Does He really provide what I need or am I being neglected by Him?

     The seen and the unseen worlds are watching you, and the thoughts you choose in your most private moments are the thought that will rule your life.

     Listen to your own thoughts and choose words that agree with God. Look at Him. Tell Him why you have decided to follow Him. Let Him know you want to be changed.

     Remember, the most hearty Soldiers are needed for the most vigorous battles. You keep slinging that Sword and let Him do the rest.

     And sing. At the top of your lungs. It drives the enemy away.

     Peace is not a condition, it is a place from which the Christian lets God be God.

     Tell Him
     Today. Aloud.
     Keep moving.

A New Standard:

     When you made the decision to cross the Line and become a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ, you stepped into a system of completely different values.

     We are accustomed  to being rewarded for  doing well, and we take instruction from those we hold in high regard.    We  feel transparent and expect others to recognize we are operating according to the finest standards.

     All in all, we expect a measure of fairness, especially within the Church.

     Not so.

     While there certainly is nothing wrong with appropriate recognition, the Soldier of The Cross must learn to submit to the changes he or she has so long prayed for.  So often, we are refined by the things that are the  most offensive to the old man - the flesh.

      It is guaranteed that in Christian service, some of those whom you have loved and helped the most, will hurt you the most.  And usually unfairly or dishonestly.  

     You have decided to take up the Cross and follow Him.  That means you are in full time Christian service, no matter how you spend your hours.

     It isn't a matter of just swallowing it and making the best of it.  It is a matter of  not letting it break your stride.

     Tell Him.
     Aloud.
     Today

     

About Finding Relief:

     When you agree with God about a matter, He will bring you a reinforcing reassurance and further revelation on the submitted matter.

     For example, if you make the choice to tell Him you will be content instead of yearning, straining and complaining, He will tell you that if there is something you don't have now, it is something you do not need now ( A friend reminded me of that of that yesterday.)

     He is eager to lead those who are eager to follow.

     Is it attractive to you to take up The Cross and follow Him?  That means the death of the flesh and the pursuit of God.

     You are not on your own.  Remember you have the Indwelling Holy Spirit.

     You are an adopted Son.  You are of the Royal Race.

     You are being watched by all of the unseen.  

     Do the next thing.  Govern your thoughts.  Regulate your countenance.  

     Make sure you are afresh in The Word.

     And make sure to tell Him you will agree with Him.  Aloud.
     Today.

     

     

Living Sacrifice:

 

     The issue is, is it your life, or have you told Him He can fully have you?  And, have you told Him today? 

     I once heard Elisabeth Elliot talk about Christians who are of "Muscular Christianity and Radiant Godliness".    How beautiful that sounds.  

     Those qualities are the result of day by day, hour by hour agreement with God. 
 
     His Word over our reactions
     His Word over our observations.
     His Word over what the other guy deserves.
     His word over emergencies.
     His Word over failure.
     His Word over rejection.
     His Word over exhaustion.
     His Word over money problems.

     Soldier of The Cross, it is about the taking up of the Cross and following hard after Him.  The death of the flesh and the pursuit of God.

     Tell Him. Today.
     Aloud.

 

 

Your Impact:

     Soldier of The Cross, you can't begin to imagine the influence you have on others.

     Some of the most remarkable stories of Christian heroes are those about people falsely accused, people with chronic pain, some suffering unspeakable grief, and others who simply plodded on, glowing from His Presence.

     Apart from sin, there is no situation that limits the Holy Spirit.  

     It is a mistake to need to feel strong.   As soon as we think we are strong, we tend to ignore the need to be completely dependent on Him.

     You have far more control over your attitude than you think.  
     You can learn to adjust your countenance.
     You can learn to govern your thoughts.
     It is critical to stop complaining.
     If you can't remember this morning's verse, have it written on a card and haul it around with you.

     No matter what your calling is, you are in full-time Christian service, and never forget it.

    Tell Him today- aloud.