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Suffering & following Jesus

I spoke last thursday night to our Young Professionals on Mark 8:31-38. We spent a good amount of time unpacking verse 34 where Christ says “if any man should come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.  I spent a great deal of time talking about what taking up your cross means. See Jesus rebuked Peter in 31-33 for trying to stop Jesus from suffering. Peter wanted the glory of the new kingdom WITHOUT the price of Suffering. But that is a false gospel and Jesus called him on it. Jesus knew that suffering HAD to be a part of salvation because on his cross, our the suffering we deserved was given to him.

So he says to take up our Cross. What does this mean? It means just as he suffered, so will we suffer. And when we suffer, we suffer as those who have hope. Now the point of this suffering Jesus is referring to is suffering we endure as we follow him. And just as the climax of the gospel involves suffering, so the most poignant picture we can give of the gospel is how we put it on display in our suffering.

I had no idea thursday night I would be preaching such a tragically timely message. One of my best friends lost his son Monday 24 hours after his birth. I’ve wept and will continue to weep with him in the days to come. I must tell you, he and his wife have delivered the most powerful picture of the gospel I have seen in a long time as they’ve suffered through this with Chai. Chai’s suffering is now over and he is with Jesus. That was one of 3 deaths in our church family yesterday. More on that at our lead pastor’s blog.

Bottom line, suffering is real. And praise God so is Jesus. May people come to know him through the suffering of our church family right now

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Categories: Uncategorized
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  1. July 13, 2010 at 11:06 pm

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