The Cross

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

Born in turbulent times on this day in 1644, William Penn disappointed his father, Sir William Penn, an admiral in the British navy. Why? Because young William made a radical commitment to follow Jesus. His convictions were so strong that he became a “nonconformist.” He studied at Oxford University, but, instead of joining the country’s elite, he was expelled. Why? Because of his faith.

Hoping for a change, Admiral Penn sent William to Ireland to manage the family estates. Instead, William became even more committed to Christ, joining the Quakers, a group reviled by respectable society. It was a group many considered extreme. William would pay a heavy price for these beliefs. He was imprisoned four times.

During one imprisonment, William wrote a book, No Cross, No Crown. Here, he reminded readers that Jesus had said that we cannot be one of His disciples unless we take up our cross and follow Him. The only thing that mattered to Penn was serving God and following Jesus…to the cross. He wrote, “No pain, no palm; no thorns; no throne; no gall, no glory; no cross, no crown.”

He wrote that the end of each life “is to glorify God.” Others might hope in traditions, rituals, and other activities. But “the only door to true Christianity” was through “the cross of Christ.”

Penn may be remembered best as the founder of Pennsylvania. Others looked at his labors and saw some successes. Others saw failures. But Penn would probably tell us that it was his service to the Kingdom of God and his commitment to the cross that was his most important legacy.

Today, the world needs people with this same kind of passion. People who are ready to carry their cross daily. To follow Jesus, wherever He leads. Make that your prayer. Your commitment.