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First Devotional, Day 14: Take Up Your Cross

February 22, 2024



DAY 14



Key Verse:

“And He was saying to them all, ‘If anyone wants to come after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me.  For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, this is the one who will save it.’”

Luke 9:23-24 NASB



In the days of Jesus, carrying or burdening a cross meant you had committed a serious crime, and the punishment was elimination. So, for a Christian to bear their own cross was to be prepared to face serious rejection and death, even as they remained accountable to God for the path they were called to walk. It meant they had died to the world, separated from its values and lifestyle.

What does this look like for us today in the 21st century? Honestly, not much different than the 1st Century. Sure, things like technology, science, the speed at which the world works and life in general has changed over time. We are still given the basic opportunity each day to make choices. Basic choices that lead and lay the foundation of our day. It is more than habits or routines that we do to get ourselves ready. These choices are all about our attitude and how we will carry ourselves and interact with people and the world as Christ-followers. To be in the world and not of the world.

 

This call from Jesus is a commitment to “walk” differently than how others are walking. One of the hardest things to do is constantly put others before yourself because of our innate nature to think about our own agenda first. It is deeply ingrained in us because of sin and our brokenness to survive this life. When in reality, if we were to put others first, we could thrive in the love and life calling of Jesus.  This also applies to commitments we have made to others and causes that the Lord has us a part of, like our local church and its mission.

 

By praying and asking the Holy Spirit to indwell in us and guide us to make the choice to “take up our cross” daily, we will work to fulfill what verse 24 says and that is to lose our life, lose the world’s lusts, and gain a life that honors Jesus and fulfills our calling more than we can ever imagine!


Heart Prompts

  1. What is one small fear that you can turn over to Jesus right now?

  2.  Take a moment and write down this promise of God. Post it in several places you see on a daily basis to be reminded of His promises, then find two other promises and do the same.

Pray

Dear Lord, help me to trust and believe in your promises even when I do not see the outcome. Help me to believe you will be with me even in the darkest of times and that I will see what you want me to learn during those times. Help me to follow you in the hills and valleys of life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.




 



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