Honoring the Soldiers of the Cross

I was struck immediately when I read the words of author and writer Nathan Bennett last Thursday who expressed thanks for American soldiers and then added, “I AM REALLY WANTING TO GIVE HONOR to the soldiers of the cross also.”

Nathan mentioned the invisible group of intercess"Jesus, I believe you died on the cross for me.  I'm sorry for my sins.  Please forgive me.  Take away my guilt, shame, and all my fears.  I believe you are the Son of God.  I believe you will take me to heaven when I die.  Amen."ors who carried the cross of Christ so that revival would happen and the Gospel of the Kingdom be preached with authority and power.  Nathan said, “THESE SOLDIERS have always controlled world events…and receive no recognition–and this is as it should be.  My real thrust and appeal is to enlist a few more to this most vital, earth shaking and policy making group of God’s inter-circle.  THERE IS NO GREATER MINISTRY.  Without these, the talkers and the singers are powerless…and ALL of their production and presentation is like a “sound of brass and the clang of a cymbal.”

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me (Matthew 16:24).”

What does that mean?

GethsemaneWe can narrow down this cross-carrying commission to two basic surrenders:
1. I am willing to go to a place where I’d rather not go.
2. I am willing to carry a burden I’d rather not carry.

Jesus obediently carried his cross after asking his father, “If it’s possible, let this cup pass from me.”  Jesus walked through a sea of offended people when he carried his cross toward Calvary.  He denied himself and chose to love.

I write about martyrs for Jesus Christ in magazines and books.  Sometimes, the life of the martyr is difficult for the American Christian to comprehend.  Our persecutions are small here compared to those experienced by Christians in Pakistan, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, China, and North Korea.  But they are, nevertheless, real and a cross to be carried.

The cross comes in many shapes, sizes, and circumstances.  Perhaps our cross calls us to:

  • Care for a terminally ill family member
  • Remain faithful in a marriage that is unfulfilling
  • Love a child, stepchild, student, or foster child that does not return my love
  • Carry the dual burden of prayer and trust in God for a rebellious teenager
  • Obey God in leading a group, when I’d rather not
  • Sit in the back row because God is showing me it is not my time to lead right now
  • Leave a church, job, or geographic location when I’d rather stay
  • Stay in a church, job, or geographic location when I’d rather go
  • Love a parent, step parent, or pastor who doesn’t affirm me or love me like God designed parents and pastors to love
  • Let go of a close friendship that is not leading me closer to Christ
  • Forgive people who hurt me, disagree with me, or are imperfect in some way that annoys me

Is this to say God’s working to make us miserable?  God forbid!  But he is a God of perfect timing, and his calendar is set to his seasons, not ours.  Oh to have a Christian who dares to live on God’s calendar, keeping God’s appointments!   I want to challenge each of us to live like that, and we can do it if we meet with Him daily at the Tree of Life and get our “marching orders” from heaven.

There are others who carry the cross of Jesus.  Like Nathan Bennett, I would like to honor the soldiers of the cross.  Perhaps you’d like to join me in remembering a Christian soldier from the past–George Washington Carver.  This portrait was painted by a godly couple named Doug and Norma Latta.  Click the picture below for his story.geo washington carver March               

 

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About Lift the Cross of Jesus!

My day job is writing--I'm an author and publisher of a number of books. More on that later. But there is nothing of greater importance to me than the early morning hours I spend with the Creator of the Universe. Although He knows everything there is to know, His greatest delight isn't to give us knowledge, but to give us love. My highest joy is to watch the sun rise with notebook in hand and write the words he speaks to my heart. I want to share some of those words with you here . . . words on the cross.
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10 Responses to Honoring the Soldiers of the Cross

  1. Larry Who says:

    My heroes have always been men of prayer with one of my favorites being Praying John Hyde. Leonard Ravenhill stated in one of his books: “Praying John Hyde prayed night and day for seven years and saw only one convert. How many of us would have given up?”

    Thanks for stirring up the memories.

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  2. Debbie Hardy says:

    Great post, Hope!

    Like

  3. Larry Who says:

    Hmm! Thanks for the blogging idea on prayer. Although I mention prayer in my writing, I have never done a series on prayer. What I really enjoy about the people of prayer I’ve read about is how unique they were and how their doctrines were all over the place. Yet, they all had one thing in common: they loved the presence of God and were willing to pay any price to attain it.

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  4. Iyke Onumara John says:

    Pls i need to know the history of soldiers of the cross,thanks.

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    • John, I just wrote a very long response to this and it was somehow canceled. I will try again! Please look here again for an answer to your question.

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      • John, I will try to rewrite this a second time. You have asked a huge question regarding soldiers of the cross. There is a book that was written a long time ago that talks about people who were killed for their faith–martyred for Jesus Christ. Please click this book title, Foxes Book of Martys, to read this true history. More than 170,000 people have been martryed for their faith in the last 100 years. One of them is my friend, Shahbaz Bhatti, who was killed in March 2011 because he loved Jesus and stood up to help Christians and other religious minorities who were being persecuted in his home country of Pakitan. Four months before Shahbaz was martyred, he received threats from Taliban, many threats. So he made this video which was played all over the world after he died. Listen to what Shahbaz says about the cross. If you want to know how to get to heaven you can see how at this link (in both English and Chinese) click this link.

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