Taking From Jesus, Giving To Jesus

Recently I came across this wonderful quote from a man who lived in Germany 600 years ago, yet what he writes about those who follow God are as true today as they were then.  They are true in the USA, India and every place where Christians live.  You’ll have to read it several times to really get into the depths of it.

“There will always be many who love Christ’s heavenly kingdom, but few who will bear his cross. Jesus has many who desire consolation, but few who care for adversity. He finds many to share his table, but few who will join him in fasting. Many are eager to be happy with him; few wish to suffer anything for him.  Many will follow him as far as the breaking of bread, but few will remain to drink from his passion. Many are awed by his miracles, few accept the shame of his cross. Many love Christ as long as they encounter no hardship; many praise and bless him as long as they receive some comfort from him. But if Jesus hides himself and leaves them for a while, they either start complaining or become dejected. Those, on the contrary, who love him for his own sake and not for any comfort of their own, praise him both in trial and anguish of heart as well as in the bliss of consolation. Even if Jesus should never comfort them, they would continue to praise and thank him. What power there is in a pure love for Jesus – love that is free from all self-interest and self-love!”  Source: The Royal Road of the Cross by Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471, Germany)

Matthew 16:24-25 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.  For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.

Read the above quote again, but make it your prayer and commitment to God to be one of the ones who follow no matter what.

INDIA UPDATE: Most of our ministry in India is done in the hearts of the people and therefore not clearly visible to us when we visit, but some of the changes are easy to see.  Often we will pray for a church and pastor who have special needs or who need to have a place for their people to worship.  Seeing the final result is very gratifying.  It makes me proud of the Indians who work so hard to have a church and the American Christians who contribute financially to help make it possible.  The pictures below show one example.

PRAY FOR the pastors who are starting new churches, for the congregations and for the growth of the churches.  Pray for their provision, their protection, their outreach and their fellowship.  The church building becomes a second home to the local Christians who are in it many times a week.  They find peace, love, friendship and comfort from God within its walls.

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