Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – March 5, 2018
Then he [Jesus] said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. Luke 9:23-24
When I bear my cross, I give up what I want for what someone else needs. Perhaps I give up a cool opportunity so someone else can enjoy this unique experience. I might give up work travel because my family needs for me to be home, available and all there. Am I willing to give up a new car when someone needs dependable transportation to commute back and forth to their job? What want of mine is the Spirit leading me to give up, so others can gain what they need? Beautifully, in God’s Kingdom, I bear my cross to follow Jesus and gain His precious presence and pleasure.
In the days of Christ, the cross was Rome’s ultimate instrument of death. Tortuous. Horrific. God used a hellish process to accomplish His heavenly outcome. Jesus modeled and taught the path to life is to daily take up my cross—sacrifice, death / forgiveness, life—and follow Him. If I avoid bearing my cross, I miss being a disciple along with the intimate fellowship of Christ’s sufferings. The cost of discipleship is death to my old sinful self and joyfully embodying Christ’s resurrected life.
“For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—because anyone who has died has been set free from sin” (Romans 6:6-7).
What want of yours is the Spirit prompting you to wait on, as there is ample time for its future fulfillment, while in the meantime you can graciously and happily meet the desperate need of another? Instead of a new house, appliance or car—you can help someone with a mortgage down payment, pay down medical bills or purchase much needed clothes. Your burden of having to wait is much less than someone’s current crisis. As you give up a want you gain God’s peace and love.
The cross you bear may have you at a breaking point. The pain is too heavy and you feel crushed under the weight of worry, weakness and the need for relief. You may feel rejected, misunderstood and forgotten, but your Savior Jesus has walked this painful path and He has not forgotten you. It is for you that He suffered, died and rose from the grave, so your broken heart might be healed by His grace, your burden of shame lifted by His love and your feeling of loneliness filled by His precious presence. Invite Jesus and others to bear your burdens. He will.
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2, NKJV).
PrayerHeavenly Father, give me the grace to bear my cross for Your glory, in Jesus’ name, amen.
ApplicationWhat want do I have that I can give up for another’s real need?
Related ReadingMark 16:15; Acts 1:8; 2 Corinthians 8:1-5; Ephesians 4:16
Post/Tweet todayWhen we give up what we want we gain what we need: God’s peace and love. #WisdomHunters #bearmycross
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