Thursday, June 7, 2007

The Cross Then the Crown

"In spite of the painful reflections and memories, I have no time for bitterness. My life is filled with too much happiness, too many loving, caring people to allow myself to be devoured by the cancer of hate. I rejoice. I sing. I laugh. I celebrate, because I know that my God reigns supreme over all the forces of evil and destruction Satan has ever devised. And best of all—my God reigns supreme in me!"

Who were these words spoken by? Someone who had just heard that he had been gossiped about? Someone who had something go wrong in his family life? Someone who had his jewelry stolen? Someone who had lost an important election because of slanderous campaign tactics? NO--they were spoken by Noble Alexander after twenty-two years in a Cuban prison. He also said "I WILL DIE FREE." Read it here.

Whether he dies before Christ returns or not, he will be free--and he will receive his crown. Listen to the words of Ryle on Matthew 16:27:

The bitter must come before the sweet, the cross before the crown. The first advent is the dispensation of the crucifixion; the second advent is the dispensation of the kingdom. We must submit to take part with our Lord in His humiliation, if we desire to share in His glory.

~J.C. Ryle.

3 comments:

Cami said...

Oh, Amen and Amen!!!

Sadly, what too many that live in a free society misunderstand, is that freedom comes with a price. It is true spiritually as well. One must not call oneself a Christian without understanding the price, or without being willing to pay it. One can be a Theist or a Deist--believe in God--but one is not a Christian if he or she isn't willing to lay down his or her life, either physically or spiritually. Ultimate freedom is ahead of us, and until then, the rest is meaningless without the hope of Glory!

CONNIE'S THOUGHTS FROM THE HEART said...

I loved the quote and the scripture verse.Thanks. connie from Texas

Jodi said...

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.

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

Matthew 16:24-25


Beautiful post, Maxine!