“All God's plans have the mark of the cross on them, and all His plans have death to self in them”
Brothers and sisters:
Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God something to be grasped.
Rather, he emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
coming in human likeness;
and found human in appearance,
he humbled himself,
becoming obedient to death,
even death on a cross.
Because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name
that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
We Christians believe that the meaning of life is to change. We're not interested in novelties, that is, superficial changes, but in the greatest changes. We focus on the change from the old, fallen nature to being born again as new creations (see Jn 3:3; Gal 6:15). We believe the Lord changes bread and wine into His body and blood. He changes hate into love, despair into hope, and death into life.
The center of God's miraculous work of changing us is the cross. The cross was originally a symbol of disgrace, of capital punishment. Because of Jesus' death on the cross, it has been changed into the symbol of grace, salvation, and love. At the cross "bad thieves" become "good thieves" (Lk 23:39ff), sinners repent, centurions believe (Mk 15:39), and through His death we receive eternal life. When we "lift high the cross," the church is restored, the lukewarm are set afire, and the culture of death becomes a civilization of love and life. At the cross, let the Lord do the greatest changes. "Lift high the cross. The love of Christ proclaim till all the world adore His sacred name."
Do you carry your cross in such a way that it proclaims to everyone that "Jesus Christ is Lord"? (Phil 2:11) You are blessed with the unspeakable privilege of sharing in the victorious cross of a King (Phil 1:29). Therefore, glory in the cross and carry your cross so as to triumph (1 Cor 9:24).