Morning & Evening Devotional Reading–
by C. H. Spurgeon, revised and edited by W. C. Neff
“Take up the cross and follow me.”
You are not the one who makes your own cross, although unbelief is a master carpenter at cross-making. Neither are you permitted to choose your own cross, although self-will desires to be lord and master. But your cross is prepared and appointed for you by divine love, and you are cheerfully to accept it. You are to take up the cross as your chosen badge and burden and not to quibble about it. Jesus calls you to put your shoulder to his easy yoke. Do not kick at it in grumpiness, or trample on it in vain-glory, or fall under it in despair, or run away from it in fear, but take it up like a true follower of Jesus.
Jesus was a cross-bearer; he leads the way in the path of sorrow. Surely you could not desire a better guide! And, if he carried a cross, what nobler burden would you desire? The Via Crucis (the way of the cross) is the way of true safety; don’t fear its thorny path. The cross is not made of feathers or lined with velvet; it is heavy—especially on disobedient shoulders. But neither is it made with Iron, though your fears have painted it with iron colors. It is a wooden cross, and a man can carry it.
Take up your cross, and by the power of the Spirit of God you will soon be so in love with it, that like Moses, you would not exchange the reproach of Christ for all the treasures of Egypt. Remember that the cross will soon be followed by the crown. The weight of coming glory will more than lighten the present heaviness of trouble.
May the Lord help you to bow your spirit in submission to his divine will as you fall asleep tonight. And as you wake with tomorrow’s sun, you will go forth to the day’s cross with the holy and submissive spirit which becomes a follower of the Crucified. [M&E]