Encouragement for your daily walk with God
I woke up early this morning and an old Gaither song came to mind — The Old Rugged Cross Made the Difference. The chorus goes like this:
And the old rugged cross made the difference
In a life bound for heartache and defeat;
I will praise Him forever and ever
For the cross made the difference for me.
© 1970 Gaither Copyright Management
The significance of the cross is not lost on those who suffer for it around the world. I once read about a Chinese Christ follower who spent over 20 years in prison for his faith. He was one of the fortunate ones to be released. Later, he wrote about the inhumane treatment and suffering he faced during that time. What struck me was the way he looked at it. In essence he said that it was nothing compared to the cross.
A humanitarian worker was overwhelmed by the needs of Christ followers in Southern Sudan. He went there to help any way he could. In a small village he ran across some children playing on a dirt street. They were completely naked except for a hand-carved cross worn around their necks. He went up to one of the emaciated kids and pointed to the cross. He tried to question the child about it by means of hand motions. The sickly child smiled, took off the necklace, and handed it to him.
He was deeply touched by the action of that child and later wrote about it in his journal. He concluded that that little act characterized the suffering Christ followers in Sudan. With absolutely nothing in the way of material possessions, they had the cross of Jesus and they were prepared to share it.
The Apostle Paul shared that same sentiment. While laboring for Christ in Corinth, he told them, “For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the One who was crucified” [1 Corinthians 2.2].
The “old rugged cross” made the difference for them. And for me. And for you!
I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. Romans 1.16