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Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

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We only teach and preach from the King James Version.



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Carry Your Cross

Matthew 16:21-25

Somewhere Along the Line –
The Cross has Become an ICON for Christianity...
It’s Our Trademark if you will...
We probably could claim a few – But the Cross is the One that is Most identified with US.

Identity is a Funny thing in this Culture
We are Usually Careful about Who/What we Identify Ourselves
AND We’re Willing to pay a lot for Identity
Designer Wear... Sports Teams...Racing...

Sports for Example –
Once we’re on w/a Team – Loyal to it – Even when they are losing...
"Fan ever since...Followed them...I remember..."

Yet – With the Cross of Jesus – It has never had a Losing Track Record...
It is Undefeated...

Yet –
We will Struggle with it’s Identity – Because it Feels Like a Loss At times in Our lives...
Why is that? What’s that really about?
Are we losing? Are we coming in 2nd at times?
Or is there a Bigger Picture at work?

"Take up your cross"
Is found in a couple passages in the gospels - Matt. 16, Mark 8, Mark 10, & Luke 9

What is Jesus teaching?

"Take up" - To take and apply to any use...

"Deny Self" - To affirm one has no acquaintance or connection w/ someone... To forget one’s self, lose sight of one’s self and one’s own interests...

To follow one who precedes, join him, accompany him...
To join one as a disciple, become or be his disciple, to side with his party...

Jesus Teaches us that we Must Become Acquainted with the Instrument of His death for us to FIND OUR OWN LIFE!

Looking for life = Loss of it
Loosing it for his sake = Finding the very thing that we’re looking for!

2 Ironies

1st – The Way of the Cross is The Way of death

The Cross was Never meant to: Be Pretty & Symbolize Hurt... Pain...
Once You are Associated with the Cross – the End was Clear – DEATH!

We’ve Beautified it – Into a Symbol of GOLD... Comfort... Polished...
In Today’s Times – The Cross would Be the Electric Chair... Lethal Injection... Gas Chamber... Firing Squad... Cyanide...

Sound Like in 2002 –
I must suffer & die... I’ll die from electric shock... Hanging...
If anyone is going to follow me – take up his electric chair... hangman’s noose – & FOLLOW ME!

They had to Struggle with this one!

Peter DID –
NOT SO LORD – Get Behind me Satan...

Another Possible Follower did –
Go sell all that you have...Take up your cross & Follow me – He went away sad...
The Cross was Seen By THEM as a GROSS place of DEATH –
Therefore it CUT Against them having to Carry one.

So it Does Today – When YOU see it for what it really is

You Feel its Weight from time to time...

When YOU Want to Do your own thing & KNOW that it’s not right – Cross
When you want to follow your path...

You Sense that it’s There...
Rubs against your Shoulder...Cuts into your will...
Presses into your Style...
Starts Cutting Off the Blood Flow to an Old Way of Doing things...

Jesus Death Was Abnormal For A Cross –
Quicker than Supposed to Be...

Possibly Showing Us – that the Quicker we go through the Way of death in this FLESH –
The Better we Live in the Spirit?

Not only Does the Cross Speak of Death –

The Cross is Meant to Symbolize a Way to LIVING
That MINDSET that Jesus Had...

Jesus Came with the Full Intention of Dying on a Cross...
Jesus said "we are to EMBRACE it"

Everyone wants to go to heaven – no one wants to die

AT THE Cross –
Jesus the Son of man was Fully Dead (FLESH/Humanity)
Jesus the Son of God was Fully Alive (SPIRIT/DIVINITY)

The Cross is meant to be the place where FLESH Dies So that the SPIRIT Might Live

The place Where "things" in the way - DIE

Each Place We Find this Phrase being taught –
there is another challenge

1st – w/ Simon Peter...Jesus Goes On to say this –
If anyone will come after me – deny self, take up his cross, & follow me...For whoever will SAVE his life will LOSE it & Whoever will Lose his life for my sake will FIND It. For what do you profit if you GAIN the Whole world & LOSE your soul...OR what shall a man give in exchange for his soul....For the Son of man will reward everyone according to his works.

2nd – He is recorded as also saying –
Whoever shall be ashamed of me & my words...of him shall the Son of man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his father

3rd – Telling the young man to go sell...
How hard it is for those that have much to enter into the kingdom – How hard it is for them that TRUST in riches...

4th – Like the others w/SP Coupled with the Settings of the teachings –
It’s the Things of Life/Society/Comfort to the Flesh –
That will Hinder us from Obeying the Cross


The Cross is to Be Carried! - Not Prayed About... - Not Fasted Over for 20 years...


The Cross IS NOT - The Hard times of Life that "Happen’
The times that the Bills are unpaid...Lose our job...Have a surprise child...
THAT IS NOT YOUR CROSS – You Didn’t Volunteer for it & It can’ be your Cross!

Your Cross is: When You Have to make a Decision to Carry it –
In Spite of its Weight & Discomfort...
OR – Lay it Down Until it Becomes more Accommodating to your life...

The Cross Room

A young man was at the end of his rope. Seeing no way out he dropped to his knees in prayer. "Lord, I can’t go on," he said. "I have too heavy a cross to bear."
The Lord replied, "My son, if you can’t bear its weight, just place your cross inside this room. Then open that other door and pick out any cross you wish."
The young man was filled with relief. "Thank you Lord," he sighed, and he did what he was told. Upon entering the other door, he saw many other crosses, some so large the tops weren’t even visible. Then he spotted a tiny cross leaning against the far wall. "I’d like that one Lord," he whispered.
And the Lord replied, "My son, that is the cross you just brought in."

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First Baptist Church of Barberville 137 East Broad St. PO Box 97, Barberville, FL 32112 * 386-749-3928