When one occupies himself with the cross, all of God’s agapao (love) becomes applicable and is known. Agapao is the Greek word for God’s divine, unconditional love. His cross proves that His love: 1) takes pleasure in us, 2) prizes us above other things, and 3) is unwilling to abandon or do without us (Wuest) (1).

How true 1 John 3:1 is when translated, “Behold what foreign kind of love” is this. The fact that the classic Greek pagan mind could never imagine or conceive of offering such a love to an enemy proves that with Christ comes a brand new understanding of His infinite care for us. This produces the adult son, the mature believer. This person passes through the devastations and trials, cracking the maturity barrier, and comes into hidden prosperity and “treasures of darkness” (Isaiah 45:3). Oh, this is rare. We are living in an age when the Gospel is popular but the cross is not. Unfortunately, this often produces the professing Christian but not the possessing Christian.

Jesus challenged us to bear a yoke that is easy and a burden that is light (2), taking up our cross daily, with a mental attitude of faith and identification with our Lord’s sufferings (3). It is through our own death that we grow into His cross as our ultimate frame of reference.

Pray that He will increase, that we might decrease (4).

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