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Old weathered wooden cross with blood and tie ropes representative of the cross that was used during the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

Subject – The Great Exchange For Service – intercession Part 10 of 10 – Grand finale to the series on disunity – The Old Rugged, Blood Stained Cross of Christ Places a COMPELLING Demand on ALL Believers to CARRY the Cross Every Day, Every time and Every where – Christ experienced and the Cross applied in our lives daily will nail and bury the coffin of disunity amongst brethren for good.

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30th of December 2018

Blog link https://www.otakada.org

Key verses:

Luke 9:23 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
23 Jesus continued to say to all of them, “Any of you who want to be my follower must stop thinking about yourself and what you want. You must be willing to carry the cross that is given to you every day for following me.

Mark 8:34-38 The Message (MSG)
34-37 Calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for?
38 “If any of you are embarrassed over me and the way I’m leading you when you get around your fickle and unfocused friends, know that you’ll be an even greater embarrassment to the Son of Man when he arrives in all the splendor of God, his Father, with an army of the holy angels.”

Mark 10:21 The Message (MSG)
21 Jesus looked him hard in the eye—and loved him! He said, “There’s one thing left: Go sell whatever you own and give it to the poor. All your wealth will then be heavenly wealth. And come follow me.”

1 Corinthians 1:17-21 The Message (MSG)
17 God didn’t send me out to collect a following for myself, but to preach the Message of what he has done, collecting a following for him. And he didn’t send me to do it with a lot of fancy rhetoric of my own, lest the powerful action at the center—Christ on the Cross—be trivialized into mere words.
18-21 The Message that points to Christ on the Cross seems like sheer silliness to those hellbent on destruction, but for those on the way of salvation it makes perfect sense. This is the way God works, and most powerfully as it turns out. It’s written,
I’ll turn conventional wisdom on its head,
I’ll expose so-called experts as crackpots.
So where can you find someone truly wise, truly educated, truly intelligent in this day and age? Hasn’t God exposed it all as pretentious nonsense? Since the world in all its fancy wisdom never had a clue when it came to knowing God, God in his wisdom took delight in using what the world considered dumb—preaching, of all things!—to bring those who trust him into the way of salvation.

Galatians 6:12-16 The Message (MSG)
11-13 Now, in these last sentences, I want to emphasize in the bold scrawls of my personal handwriting the immense importance of what I have written to you. These people who are attempting to force the ways of circumcision on you have only one motive: They want an easy way to look good before others, lacking the courage to live by a faith that shares Christ’s suffering and death. All their talk about the law is gas. They themselves don’t keep the law! And they are highly selective in the laws they do observe. They only want you to be circumcised so they can boast of their success in recruiting you to their side. That is contemptible!
14-16 For my part, I am going to boast about nothing but the Cross of our Master, Jesus Christ. Because of that Cross, I have been crucified in relation to the world, set free from the stifling atmosphere of pleasing others and fitting into the little patterns that they dictate. Can’t you see the central issue in all this? It is not what you and I do—submit to circumcision, reject circumcision. It is what God is doing, and he is creating something totally new, a free life! All who walk by this standard are the true Israel of God—his chosen people. Peace and mercy on them!

Hebrews 12:1-3 message
Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!

1 Corinthians 13:13
So these three things continue: faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is love.

Introduction

Dear Brethren, welcome to the grand finale on our series on disunity – The Old Rugged, Blood Stained Cross of Christ Places a COMPELLING Demand on ALL Believers to CARRY the Cross Every Day, Every Time and Every Where.

Christ is love, when we truly encounter and experience the love of Christ in our lives, we become love agents and it becomes easy to carry the cross of Jesus Christ as we serve in the SPACE the Lord has allotted to us.

Note that Christ experienced and the Cross applied in our lives daily will nail and bury the coffin of disunity amongst Christian brethren for good.

All the problems with Christians and all the problems in the churches can be solved only by Christ experienced and the cross applied. There were divisions among the Corinthians because those believers paid their attention to gifts, signs, knowledge, and wisdom, but they very much neglected Christ and the cross. Therefore, there were many problems. The more gifts and knowledge we have, the more problems we have. All the divisions and denominations were produced out of gifted persons. In the past four or five hundred years, whenever there was a deeper, gifted person, a division or sect was often created, and the more gifted the person was, the greater the division was.

All the gifts mentioned in 1 Corinthians are spiritual gifts, not natural gifts. We may think that spiritual gifts can do no harm. In actuality, the gifts themselves do no harm, but the persons who are gifted often do a great deal of harm by the gifts. From the time of the Reformation through the present day, there has rarely been a very gifted person who has not created a denomination, sect, or division. We cannot say absolutely that there has not been an exception, but it is rather difficult for us to point one out. Almost every famous gifted person in the past centuries created a division by his gifts.

Although the gifts themselves are good, it depends on how we handle them. We must realize that Christ is the centre, and all the gifts are for Christ.

CONCLUSION:
In concluding this series, we will like to state that Spiritual gifts should not be a license to come up with a new doctrine or rubbish the old. Spiritual gifts should unify us and not divide us. In our engagement with the brethren, we should take up our cross daily and pour out the love that only Christ in us can produce with grace. As we draw to the close of the year 2019, I have a question for you. Do you believe in the cross of Christ? The cross is stained with the blood of Christ. The cross indicate love; The cross indicates forgiveness; the cross indicates humility and the cross places a demand on you are me who believe in Jesus Christ. What does it demand? The cross demands that we proclaim it to the dark world around us. If we believe, we will take action no matter the cost. Are we willing to pay the price of taking up our cross daily? May the Lord grant all of us renewed grace and vigor.

Happy new year in advance. Expect to see the 10 series in e-book and paperback within 30 days.

Prayer:
Dear Lord God, I pray for an encounter with You the living and everlasting God afresh. I pray that this experience with You, will leave a lasting footprint upon our hearts and minds. Cause us to experience the unconditional love You have for us by sending Your Son – Jesus Christ to die the death we were not qualified to die. Cause us to exemplify this love by taking up our cross and following You daily as Your ambassadors here on earth. As many that do not know you and are reading this post, Lord draw them to Yourself this day and may they experience this love, peace and joy that can only be found in You through Your Son Jesus Christ we have prayed. Amen!
Shalom!

Monday Ogwuojo Ogbe – E-discipleship at Otakada.org