The Marks Of The Cross

Earlier this morning, while reading a blog entitled Speaking Truth In Love--The Legacy Of A True Princess written by Blessings2You, I couldn't help but think of an old Petra song written back in the early '90's by Ronny Cates and John Hartman. The song is entitled "Marks of the Cross".

Yes, K :princess: was and is an old Petra fan. As a young woman, many of these songs impacted my life and even now I find myself remembering the messages so many of them contained. These are messages which helped form who I am today.

This song is based on two scriptures. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. Matthew 10:39 (NIV) and 57As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go."

58Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head."

59He said to another man, "Follow me." But the man replied, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father."

60Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God."

61 Still another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family."

62Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God." Luke 9:57-62

Far too often we overlook the cost of following Christ. We want to dance down a pleasant path with no sorrow or suffering. Those who walk with the companions of suffering and sorrow are often ridiculed as not having enough faith or living a life filled with unconfessed sins. All I can say is that God is the judge of those who suffer in one form or another as well as those who inflict pain upon them.

When I read "The Faith Chapter" (Hebrews 11), I do not see people skipping down an easy road, in fact there is not one single example of anyone doing so. In fact, I cannot recall one single example of any godly person in the Bible doing so. Not a single one. So, where do we get this idea that the Way of the Cross is an easy one to follow? From the Word of God or from the mouth of someone who says it is so?

In Matthew, Mark and Luke Jesus tells us to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him (Matthew 16:24, Mark 8:34 and Luke 9:23) The issue of suffering is a common theme throughout the New Testament. Peter writes: 12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.

13 But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.

14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.

15 If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler.

16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.

17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

18 And, "If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?"

19 So then, those who suffer according to God's will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good. 1 Peter 4:12-19 (NIV)

Whether in sickness or in health, poverty or wealth, good times or bad times, there are three questions we need to ask ourselves.

  1. Am I bearing the marks of the cross?

  2. If I respond yes to the first question, would others agree? This is an important question to ask as it is easy to convince ourselves we are bearing the marks of the cross when we are not. If you say you are but those around you disagree it is time for self-examination. Time and time again, even as Christians have been cruelly treated there are numerous accounts of the persecutor being moved by the life of the persecuted. It was evident they were bearing the marks of the cross.

  3. Would God agree with my response? This is what matters the most. What would God's answer be if you were to ask Him whether or not you are bearing the marks of the cross?

While these questions are very sobering, I believe these are questions we must ask ourselves daily. What are the marks of the cross? Listen...


These days shallow and feeble resolve abound
And true devotion and passionate fervor are seldom found
But there are those who often feel they're all alone
Those of whose identities are known
By the mark of the crucified Son

(Chorus)
Praying, caring, loving, sharing
These are the marks of the cross
Giving, bearing, feeling, daring
To lay down your life on the line
Forgetting what you leave behind
And willing to suffer the loss
Of the marks of the cross

These days the search for detachment and solitude
Lead to retreating to fortresses no one would dare intrude
Then there are those whose restless burdens start to show
Those who unmistakably must know
There's no crown 'til we suffer the cross

Praying, caring, loving, sharing
These are the marks of the cross
Giving, bearing, feeling, daring
To lay down your life on the line
Forgetting what you leave behind
And willing to suffer the loss
Of the marks of the cross

All our identity rests in the knowledge
Of who we're created to be
We are His workmanship, made in His image
For all of creation to see
The marks of His pain and His glory

Praying, caring, loving, sharing
These are the marks of the cross
Giving, bearing, feeling, daring
To lay down your life on the line
Forgetting what you leave behind
And willing to suffer the loss
Of the marks of the cross

8We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;

9Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

10Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

11For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. 2 Corinthians 4:8-11

May we all gladly bear the marks of the cross.

Blessings!

K :princess:

@aliveintheword
Art Schnatterly @aliveintheword ·

Amen!

@oneofhisown
Sara Reckling @oneofhisown ·

Sister K:princess:~

That was very beautifully written! Amen!

Sara

ps PETRA ROCKS! :headbanger:

@blessings2you
Kirk M @blessings2you ·

Thank You!! I had never heard this song let alone seen the words. What a great tune and it most assuredly speaks the truth in love regarding the commitment needed to walk for and in Christ in this crazy world in which we live.
Thanks for the blog and the song!

B2Y

@annajones
Anna Jones @annajones ·

K, thanks so much for this blog......For I love that verse here....

9Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We are to bare suffings as well as victories!!! It all works together. Jesus paid a very HIGH price.....so I count it a blessing when I must suffer for the cause of CHRIST!!!! What ever the price, I do hope I can pay also. FOR IT WILL NOT DESTORY ME !!!!.....Love u AJ

@kraftykatz
Marsha Tyler Ronquist @kraftykatz ·

Praise God in all circumstances. Thanks for a wonderful reminder K

KraftyKatz
:coffee:

@estherangel
Angelic Crocker @estherangel ·

Thank you for this blog! I need to remind myself of this every morning.
EstherAngel

@shanijane
Shani Matthews @shanijane ·

Amen K!
thanks for the wonderful blog and the reminder.

Blessings,
Shani

@blest
Beth M @blest ·

Great blog, K. Well written, timely and a much needed reminder. Thanks....

Do not include honorifics.
@kreynolds

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