“I can do all things,” I have resources for all circumstances, ” in Him that strengtheneth me” (Phil 4:13).
” If any man will come, willeth to to come, after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23). Continued…
3. “And let him take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Every word is pregnant here, the “taking up” the acceptance by the regenerate will, with a true surrender, of whatever may be meant by the cross! And then, the
“cross”! Observe, it is not the yoke, the burden, but the Cross a word of very definite imagery; a thing to be carried indeed, as any burden is to be carried but whither, and why? To a Calvary, and because of a Crucifixion to be done there. The “self” just “denied,” just ignored, rejected, is to be also bound and nailed as to a Roman cross, and this with the consenting act of the regenerate will, which has taken up that cross for thatend.
And then, “daily“! Therefore, for one thing, there is a somewhat to be daily crucified. Here is one inexhaustible paradox of this great matter; on one side a true and total self-denial, on the other, a daily need of self-crucifixion. This is a thing which I am content simply to state, and to leave it as the Lord’s word upon the believer s mind and soul.
But “daily”; without intermission, without holiday; now, to-day, this hour; and then, to-morrow! And the daily
“cross”; a something which is to be the instrument of disgrace and execution to something else! And what will that something be? Just whatever gives occasion of ever deeper test to the Self-surrender of which we have spoken;just whatever exposes to shame and death the old aims, and purposes, and plans, the old spirit of Self and its life.
Perhaps some great anguish on another’s behalf threatens you. Yesterday you shrank from it, you stumbled at it, very largely, if not mainly, because of what it would inflict on Self. Today you take it up, as a cross, and upon it you execute that thought; and now your pain is pure pain, pain for the sake of another’s soul, and of the glory of God.
Perhaps it is some small trifle of daily routine; a crossing of personal preference in very little things; accumulation of duties, unexpected interruption, unwelcome distraction. Yesterday these things merely fretted you and, internally at least, “upset” you. Today, on the contrary, you take them up, and stretch your hands
out upon them, and let them be the occasion of new disgrace and deeper death for that old self-spirit. You take them up in loving, worshipping acceptance. You carry them to their Calvary in thankful submission. And tomorrowyou will do the same.
4. “And let him follow Me.” This may refer specially to the last previous words, the Cross-bearing; it may betoken
a following of Him, who “went out bearing His Cross.” But it may better be referred to the whole previous verse,to that mysterious Self-denial of the Son, whereby, throughout His blessed course, “His meat (food) was to do, not His own will, but the will of Him that sent Him,” and”to glorify Him on the earth” (John 4:34; 17:4). Thus
we have more in view than the final “going out” to Calvary. In any case, let the disciple do all this always, wholly, with regard to Him, looking unto Him, “following Him.”
I leave upon the heart, with little attempt at system, just this utterance of the Christian’s Master calling His bondservant out to tne path of holiness. Listen, weigh, and apply to the inmost self. Let the cost be counted before the results are claimed. Would you know what it is, in the strong but gentle realities of a happy experience, to be “he that overcometh,” to have “heart and thoughts
kept by the peace of God”? (Rev. 3:5; Phil 4:7). Thenmore is needed than even the holiest aspirations. There needs certain definite demands on the regenerate will. Youmust draw for every victory upon divine resources. But you must do it as one who is, in full heart-purpose, self surrendered, denying the life of self, and daily taking up the cross…
Biblical quotations were from the KJV. Italics added
Part 2 of 2
From Chapter 2 of Thoughts on Christian Sanctity, LONDON SEELEY & Co, ESSEX STREET, STRAND 1888.
“H. C. G. Moule… became first principal of Ridley Hall Theological College, Cambridge, in 1881, and Norrisian Professor of Divinity in 1899. Moule was a convinced evangelical, but was understanding of other views… He was closely associated with the Keswick Convention. Although he was a profound scholar, he could speak and write for ordinary people…” -http://www.anglicanlibrary.org/moule_h/index.htm