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Morning Devotional for February 18, 2022

The Pain of Cross-Bearing

A.W. Tozer

The weakness of much that passes for the Christian faith these days is seen in the readiness of many professed followers of Christ to make any concessions in order to "get along with people," especially with relatives and in-laws. The philosophy of mid-twentieth century Christianity is a philosophy of appeasement. Peace and unity have become the Castor and Pollux of the majority of religious leaders, and truth is regularly sacrificed on their altars. The notion that "peace on earth" as the New Testament uses the words, means concord between light and darkness is foreign to the whole traditional Christian position. Our Lord cared nothing for the good will of bad men, nor would He alter one word of His message to stay in favor with anyone, be he Jew or pagan or even a member of His own earthly family. "For even his own brothers did not believe in him" (John 7:5).

No one has understood the meaning of the cross who puts blood ties alongside the ties of the Spirit. "Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit" (John 3:6). All fleshly relationships will be dissolved in the glory of the resurrection, including the relationship between husband and wife. For this reason our Lord said plainly that for some people it would be necessary to break family ties if they would follow Him. "Do you think I came to bring peace on earth" No, I tell you, but division. From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law" (Luke 12:51-53). "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple" (14:26-27).

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A.W. Tozer

. . . Invariably the newly learned, like the newly rich, overdo everything, and that is just what the evangelical-rationalists are doing. They forget that Moses, David, our blessed Lord Himself, John, Luther, Wesley, Bunyan, Schopenhauer, William James (to bring together a few very different but very effective teachers), could state their doctrines in language as simple as childhood talk and as clear as distilled water. These modern teachers aren't so easy to comprehend. They write in an academic jargon that only another of them can understand. At the rate they are going it will take at least one generation for their teaching to filter down to the man on the street and the worshiper in the pew. And maybe that is good after all.

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