On June 20, 1885 a band of Moravian missionaries landed on the shores of Alaska and established the Bethel Mission. During their first year of mission work among the natives, winter temperatures fell to fifty degrees below zero.
It is not always “comfortable” to serve Jesus Christ. “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” No self-denial means we really aren’t in the “imitation mode” or “discipleship mode” with Christ.
A little Sunday School chorus has been ringing in my ears in recent days. Some times the truth is so succinct, so clear in just a few lines.
“Jesus and others and you, what a wonderful way to spell JOY,
Jesus and others and you, in the life of each girl and each boy.
J is for JESUS for HE has first place
O is for others you meet face to face
Y is for you and whatever you do, put yourself last and spell Joy – J-O-Y!
This chorus is not too fancy but it drives home the point doesn’t it? The Christian faith is a cross-centred, Christ-centred faith. “…who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross!” Amen!