A strange thing under the sun is crossless Christianity. The cross of Christendom is a no-cross, an ecclesiastical symbol. The cross of Christ is a place of death. Let each one be careful which cross he carries. And follow me. Now the glory begins to break in upon the soul that has just returned from Calvary. Follow me is an invitation, and a challenge, and a promise. The cross has been the end of a life and the beginning of a life. The life that ended there was a life of sin and slavery; the life that began there is a life of holiness and spiritual freedom. And follow me, He says, and faith runs on tiptoe to keep pace with the advancing light. Until we know the program of our risen Lord for all the years to come we can never know everything He meant when He invited us to follow Him. Each heart can have its own dream of fair worlds and new revelations, of the odyssey of the ransomed soul in the ages to come, but whoever follows Jesus will find at last that He has made the reality to outrun the dream.
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Human society is built upon a balance of personal interests. People are so used to seeing everyone serving his own ends that no other kind of conduct is expected. Only the eccentric dreamer would expect that unregenerate men could be persuaded to surrender their personal rights and devote themselves wholly to the interests of others. Occasionally small groups of persons have come together to try to form a selfless society, but in every instance they have lived to see their little utopia tear itself apart by the centrifugal force generated by the very selfishness they were trying so nobly to escape. The human heart is essentially selfish and it cannot be cured by external organization. With the advent of Jesus Christ a new and radically different motive for human conduct was introduced into the world and its symbol is the cross. By His words Christ exposed the evil of self-interest and by His cross He demonstrated pure selfless love in its fullest perfection. He came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many. Christ pleased not Himself, but lived in total devotion to the honor of God and the welfare of mankind, and when He died He set a crown of beauty upon a God-centered and an others-centered life.
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