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Metformin 1ST LESSON: 1 CORINTHIANS 4: 12
"And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it".

2ND LESSON: 2 CORINTHIANS 4: 10
"Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body".

GOLDEN TEXT: 1 CORINTHIANS 9: 19
"For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more".
"Anybody who wants to follow me but is unwilling to take up the Cross after me cannot be my follower".
Some people think that to give alms means carrying the cross; others think that to heal the sick by praying means carrying the Cross. Many others think that to pray for yourself three times a day means carrying the Cross; yet another class of people think that to pay tithe, freewill offering and charity means carrying the Cross. Cross has been made into different forms. Some hang it around their necks; some hang it on their doors. Do all these make up the Cross that Christ says we should carry?

We all know that Christ fell down with the Cross as He was carrying it to Calvary. Does carrying the Cross then mean that piece of wood that He carried. Without the Cross the world would not have been saved. The cross is light and it is also heavy. For the world to be in perfect peace, each of us should agree to carry the Cross. By what means does one convert a smoker, a snuffer, a fornicator, a thief, a murderer, a backbiter or a liar? It is by carrying the Cross. If we all should decide today to take up the Cross, the sins of the world would vanish immediately.
Then what is the Cross? Is it vision and prophecy; building of houses for people; giving food to people; buying dresses for people? If Jesus had only healed and prophesied without carrying the Cross His work could have come to nothing.

IT MEANS BEARING ONE ANOTHER’S BURDEN
If you hire bicycles for brethren going on Ministry work to make their job less difficult you are not carrying the Cross. Cross is not huge as you might have imagined. It is very small; it is light but it is very heavy. What is Cross? Cross means bearing another man’s burden without complaining, tolerating all kinds of sinners, the murderers, the thieves, the backbiters etc. If you stand firm with Christ without fighting back your accusers whenever you are accused falsely or being spat upon or jeered at, disgraced and insulted without a just cause. If you are informed that someone had planned to shoot you and you fail to run away when he aims at you to shoot, then you are carrying the Cross.
To carry the Cross does not cost anything. To be able to carry the Cross you must resign yourself completely to God. You must be loving, humble; you must esteem another person higher than yourself; you must not be envious. If Our Lord Jesus Christ did not possess these qualities, He could not have carried the Cross. If you move with a cunning man without hurting his feelings for being tricky and crafty, if you can stay with a notorious liar very happily without stirring up his anger when he tells you a lie and when one persecutes you falsely and seeks to destroy your life by all means yet you tolerate him wholeheartedly, you are carrying the real Cross.

THE TURNING POINT IN SAUL’S LIFE
Saul was the greatest enemy of Christ. He travelled from place to place, intimidating the Christians. He took permission from the high priest to go from Church to Church to arrest, imprison and to kill Christ’s followers. He witnessed the stoning to death of Stephen and took custody of his garments. But on that fateful day, on his way to Damascus, Christ knocked him cold on the ground. He was flat on his face and could not move an inch when he heard a voice saying "Saul, Saul, why persecuted thou me"? He answered, "who art thou Lord"? And the voice said, "I am Jesus whom thou persecutest". He trembled and asked Jesus what He would want him to do. The Lord told him to rise and go into the city. There he would be told what to do. Those who travelled with him to Damascus were shocked for hearing only a voice without seeing anybody. Saul rose from the ground a completely blind man. He was led by hand into the city of Damascus.
There, Jesus told one Ananias, a disciple; to go into the street called Straight and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus. But Ananias told Jesus that Saul had been very much against Christ, especially His Saints. Ananias told Jesus that Saul had authority from the Chief Priest to have all those who call on the name of Jesus bound. What did Jesus told Ananias? He told him to go his way for He had chosen Saul as a vessel unto Himself to bear His name before the Gentiles and Kings and the children of Israel. If Saul had seen Jesus face to face he could have killed Him if it were possible. Jesus caught him red handed and did not kill him but made him a vessel unto Himself.

COMING TO ONE’S WITS-END
When you stay with a wicked person, allow him to finish playing his wickedness because if you stop him when he has not yet finished it, you are blocking his salvation. That cunning man who tricks you daily must be allowed to continue in his profession until he comes to his wits-end. That liar who lies to you everyday must not be forced to stop lying until he does so by himself or how can he be saved? You have to tolerate them all. This is what carrying the Cross means. If you can rejoice in tribulation and humiliation; if you can tolerate abuses from people, be they young or old, then you are carrying the Cross. When people have bargained to get you involved in any trouble, yet you continue to treat each of them as your friend, rendering to them any necessary help that each may demand; continue to bring them nearer and nearer to yourself; this is Cross bearing.
Though you may know that the nearer you go the more death stares at you, yet you are giving them life. Finally, the power of life in you will kill the evil ways in them and you will have given them life. This is carrying the Cross. If you cannot carry the Cross you cannot convert an evil doer. If you get annoyed with him you have failed in your duty as a Cross bearer. It requires determination and endurance without complaining. As a cross bearer, you must always be prepared for the worst, all in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

1ST LESSON: 1 CORINTHIANS 4: 12
"And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it".
When you are accused falsely and you bless such a person; when one assassinates your character and you bless him; when one hates you without reason and you bless him; when you do not complain for being painted black; when you go on your knees to ask God to forgive your enemies whole-heartedly, you are carrying the Cross. When one wrongs you and you see that because of his pride you may fall apart, you go to him and tell him that you have offended him instead and ask for forgiveness, you are carrying the Cross of Christ. You can now understand what the Cross means. Without this kind of Cross you cannot convert a single Soul. This is the Cross I amasked to preach to you. When you smile at every persecution, smile at false accusations; when you continue to do good in the midst of strong temptations; when you are hated because of the good things you have done, yet you are not discouraged, you are carrying the Cross.

THE SENTENCE
If you built a house for a man and instead of him being appreciative of it, he turns round to abuse you. If you repay him in the same disgraceful way, you have willingly dropped your Cross. If you drive him away from the house, your sin becomes greater than his. If you give out your house for rent and because your tenants does not pay his rent, you eject him from the house, you have not even lifted up the Cross. If you see a thief in your house, and you shout thief, thief, without allowing him to achieve his objective, you are not carrying the Cross. You may say that this is humanly impossible, but I tell you that it is humanly possible. This is the only way you can carry the Cross. When you have him arrested and imprisoned have you stopped him from stealing? This method in the end will make him a hardened criminal. You have not changed him. But when you allow him to steal, he would be in peace and you also will be in peace.
Supposing by shouting thief, thief, he cuts off your head or have you completely maimed, who is at a loss? By simply asking him to steal what he wanted, you have set his mind thinking; more-so when you tell him that you are prepared to help him carry the stolen load out. He may come to his senses and may be ashamed of himself; he may even confess to you why he had come to steal; he may become converted because you have not wounded his pride. From that simple but unbelievable sentence, "Steal what you want to steal", have done the greatest work in the sight of God.

ARGUMENT THAT WILL NOT HELP
If somebody comes to you with one Naira and tells you that it is only thirty kobo, do not start any argument with him. Agree that it is only thirty kobo, even when you know it is one Naira. You do not gain anything through argument. In the end you will still be wiser. Because after some time, he would be at his wits-end. It is there that he would know that he had been making a fool of himself. If someone comes to tell you that he has refrained from all manner of sins, don’t ask him any question, just agree. For sooner or later you will know whether he had refrained from sin without any loss of face. Do not say that you are good when you are not. This may make your Cross burdensome. Do not look for life for you may lose it. Allow yourself to be persecuted, accused falsely or disgraced. The more you suffer these things the more you see the glory of God in you.
If Abraham did not tell the king that Sara was his sister, God would not have revealed the relationship between Abraham and Sarah to the king. If we agree to be cheated, the glory of God will certainly be manifested in us. Preaching alone does not change man to live a Christian life. The carrying of the Cross is the shortest means of converting a soul. If we agree to bear one another’s evil way, if we are convinced that the fall of our brother is ours, we all will carry the Cross without looking back. The work would be made lighter, until the cross which is fire burns away the sins in us no one would know.

2ND LESSON: 11 CORINTHIANS 4: 10
"Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body".

"WHY NOT DEFEND YOURSELF" SAID PILATE
Pilate said to Jesus: "have you nothing to say in defence against the accusations heaped on you"? Jesus did not do anything than to take up the Cross and resign Himself completely to Providence. This put an end to the unnecessary struggle to save His life. When you witness false accusations, false persecutions and disgrace do not apply worldly wisdom. Because by struggling to save your life you may lose it. It requires complete resignation to God for by counting your life as lost, will you regain it. That is God’s wonderful way. Your faith in carrying the Cross will reveal the Christ in you to your persecutors. If you can endure false allegations and put up bright countenance both within and without don’t you think people will call you Jesus? There is no other Christ apart from enduring evil, tolerating evil, tolerating fornicators, adulterers, backbiters, murderers, thieves etc., and you have won their souls. Though it is not a simple thing to do carnally, with complete resignation to God you have nothing to worry about. You gain nothing by driving them away, they gain nothing by being separated from you. You cannot stay alone for a tree cannot make a forest, but you gain everything by accommodating them. Put on the life of Jesus Christ and you can do everything you want to do.

JUDAS BEING REPORTED TO JESUS
What kind of Cross are you carrying when you get flared up by the slightest provocation? When Peter, James and John told Jesus that Judas Iscariot was keeping the harlots happy with the money from their common purse, Jesus did not flared up. Before he was made the Treasurer, Christ had known Judas well because Jesus had the power of reading the heart of all human beings. If Jesus had decided on any line of action against Judas, He would have fallen. The Cross could have meant nothing to Him. If He had thought of entrusting their purse in the care of another disciple all His work would have come to an end. In which every way you may look at the carrying of Cross, it means the same thing, the determination and the endurance to tolerate all kinds of people. How many people in the world today can carry the Cross? If we cannot carry the Cross, how can we promote the work of God?
Jesus knew before Judas decided to betray Him. To prove it, He told His disciples that one of them would betray Him. If it were you, you would have sought for a way to kill Judas. But for the sake of the Cross, Jesus allowed Judas to accomplish his aim. When you see a thief coming to steal your clothes and you allow him to steal them you are carrying the Cross. If you chase him out, you are obstructing the work of God. Let us carry the Cross, for by carrying the Cross the world will be in peace.

GOLDEN TEXT: 1ST CORINTHIANS 9: 19
"For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more".

BE SERVANTS UNTO OTHERS
The main reason why we should make ourselves servants unto people is so that we may draw them away from their sinful ways. When we must have done this, we have drawn them nearer unto ourselves. Though we are not under any suffering, we must endure other people’s sinful ways so that they may be saved. You can now see why we accommodate all kinds of people, though they may be false accusers, false persecutors. Unless we allow the wicked man to torment us for righteousness' sake, we cannot be true Cross-bearers. If Christ did not allow Himself to be tortured, there could have been no salvation to mankind, and the world would have been st. Let deceivers go on deceiving us; let false accusers continue to accuse us; let us suffer afflictions and tribulations. Let rogues continue to steal our things.

CHRIST, THE BEGINNING AND THE END
When preaching, you should embody Christ’s suffering, His resurrection and His glory; preach also about His advice to the whole world, His preaching from house to house; and preach that He is the only King, and that Pilate himself had wanted to release Him. Gospel means nothing but Jesus and His sufferings, death and glory, so if someone should ask you the meaning of Cross, say it is Our Lord Jesus Christ - His sufferings, crucifixion, death; resurrection and eternal glory. It does not require one with a University degree to understand this.
From Genesis to Revelation you will read of nothing else except this. You will read of Him who redeemed you from sin and why He was nailed on the Cross? All this was because of our sins. Did He then die so that we may continue to sin? The answer is "No", He died so as to redeem us for God. So you can see that Our Lord Jesus Christ is the beginning, the mediator, and the end of all things from His conception to His birth, and from His birth to His death. Mary was a virgin before she became conceived.

JESUS CHRIST, THE HEALING POWER
So if we now do not preach about Him it means that we are not yet ready to be His disciples. Brotherhood of the Cross and Star means those who preach about Jesus Christ - His birth, His sufferings, and His death. In fact there is no other thing that we can use to heal the sick or raise the dead except the words of Our Lord Jesus Christ. If you refuse to know this truth you are lost, for He is the one who had made us to be called the children of God. His sufferings and death have redeemed us from our sins and have given us eternal life, thus revealing the glory of God and so made people stand firm and believe in God. You are not to preach about the Roman Catholic or Presbyterian or about any other human being. If you preach about them, are they Jesus, were they the man nailed on the Cross? Don’t preach about yourselves too, for you were not the one nailed on the Cross.
Brethren, no matter what you do, if you fail to preach the sufferings, the death and the glory of Our Lord Jesus Christ all will be in vain. The preaching of Our Lord Jesus Christ is so powerful because He was born as a King but He humbled Himself unto death. He was born in a manger; all of us have houses but Christ had none hence His saying that the 'birds of the air had nests but the Son of Man had nowhere to put His head'. He went from house to house, in forests and on the seashore preaching the gospel, healing people free of charge and feeding them at the same time.
When the Pharisees brought to Christ a woman who committed adultery for punishment, He said to them, that anyone who had never committed sin should stone her and when they heard this they left the woman and went away, one after the other. The significance of all these are that we should put on the new clothes of forgiveness and follow Him. His way of life is the only pattern for us to emulate. That is why it is imperative that we should always preach about Him only.

CHRIST’S LIFE IS A SHINNING EXAMPLE
Brethren, there is nothing else for us to preach about except Jesus. You will notice that from the Acts of the Apostles, Paul, Peter and others preached about Our Lord Jesus Christ. If you don’t tell people about your father and what he did, how can you inherit his estate or please him? So when you preach about Christ you will not only preach but you will be filled with His power. So wherever you are speaking don’t forget Our Lord Jesus Christ. When moving on the road and even when advising people, remind them about the sufferings and the humility of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
If you are advising a woman who is longing for a child just remind her that Jesus who is our Lord had no issue. If you are advising anybody lamenting for a wife just remind him that Jesus Christ had no wife, anybody who laments about not having a box of clothes, remind him that our Lord Jesus had none. It was an uncommon sight for a man to be nailed on the Cross as this was the worst form of death and a typical disgrace. If someone accuses you falsely, remember Our Lord Jesus Christ who was holy and righteous had agreed to suffer shame on the Cross. If someone that you helped turns round to pay you back in bad coins, just remember that it was those that Christ healed free of charge who went back to stone Him. Remember that when He asked them whether they came to stone Him and they answered in the affirmative. He was kind enough to heal them. Tell me if there is any other person who has suffered so much. Why then should we not preach about Jesus?

So brethren if you don’t preach our lord Jesus you cannot follow Me. If you preach Abraham who married many wives and had landed properties and earthly riches, if you preach David who was a sinner I will not follow you. If you don’t preach about Jesus and His sufferings I will not follow you, because those things happened so that we may follow His examples. This life of our Lord Jesus is like a plan for us to follow and build our lives. It is like a mirror for us to look and redress ourselves. There were so many beautiful women in those days but He remained single so that He may be able to redeem you and I. He washed the feet of the disciples, the dirtiest part of a human body and left an example for us to follow. So brethren let us now preach about Our Lord Jesus and the Cross, for Jesus is the Cross and is the Power that we see in Brotherhood today. Those who have ears to hear let them hear, may the Lord bless the preaching of His Holy Words. Amen.

Thank You Good Father