Suffering. What comes to mind when you think about suffering? How about what Jesus suffered, and why? How about what it means when Jesus said: “…Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” (Matt 16:24, NIV)
This is a lot to think about! And exactly what does Jesus mean by this? Was He talking only to His disciples, or does this apply to us today? What has the church traditionally done with the concept of “following Jesus” in modern times? What does it look like to follow Jesus today? What does it mean to call oneself “Christian” by today’s standards, and what did it mean to the early church to be followers of Jesus (or Christian, did they call themselves “Christians?”)?
This is a whole bunch to ponder. This and more about what it means to call oneself Christian, a Jesus follower, to “take up our cross” and follow Him, as it relates to suffering, will be discussed over the next several blog posts. We’ll also wrap suffering into Shalom or peace – exploring the question, how does one pick up their cross and suffer with Jesus and stay in the Father’s Shalom? Please stay tuned.
Apologies for the blog yet being under construction. I am NOT a techie! So I am dependent on the favors and grace of others with their time and talents!! It will come together soon. A meeting is planned for this weekend coming to work on the blog with a techie friend; hopefully, I will have solved most my problems at this meetings end! Pray for me!
For now, think on the above questions. Jesus was the Great Shepherd; He was also the Lamb of God. He is our model as to how we walk by faith; how we live life in this modern day, just as He was to early disciples; how we relate to the Father, ourselves, each other, as well as to the earth and the animal kingdom; He is our LIFE source.
My calling as a Child of the Creator is to take the Gospel, as it relates to the WHOLE creation, to the world; and to remind the Church of its Biblical responsibilities to animals.
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