Christ’s Sufferings Are a Rebuke

Christ’s sufferings are a rebuke to our softness and self-pleasing.  It is not, indeed, wrong to enjoy the comforts and the pleasures of life.  God sends these; and, if we receive them with gratitude, they may lift us nearer to Himself.  But we are too terrified to be parted from them and too afraid of pain and poverty.  Especially ought the sufferings of Christ to brace us up to endure whatever of pain or reproach we may have to encounter for His sake.  Many would like to be Christians, but are kept back from decision by demand of the laughter of profane companions or by the prospect of some worldly loss.  But we cannot look at the suffering Saviour without being ashamed of such cowardly fears.  If the crown of thorns no becomes Christ so well as to be the pride and the song of men and of angels, be assured that any twig from that crown which we may have to wear will not one day turn out to be our most dazzling ornament.

James Stalker, The Trial and Death of Jesus Christ (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1966), 64.

Christian Discipleship

Christian disciples are sent men and women — sent out in the same work of world evangelism to which the Lord was sent, and for which he gave His life.  Evangelism is not an optional accessory to our life.  It is the heartbeat of all that we are called to be and do.  It is the commission of the church that gives meaning to all else that is undertaken in the name of Christ.

Robert E. Coleman, The Master Plan of Evangelism (Grand Rapids: Baker Publishing Group, 2010), 89.