Taking Up Your Cross
Daily Bible Reading – Job 22; Mark 7, 8
Today’s Key Passage – Mark 8:31-38
Today’s key passage is one of my favorite passages in the Bible. How powerful are Jesus’ words in this passage as he gives us the ultimate direction in our lives? In our world surrounded by wrong thinking, our Lord and Savior gives us a choice to make. He tells us that we can choose to follow Him today, even though it may be difficult, or we can choose to live far from Him. We all have the choice to make individually – no one can make this choice for us. Sometimes it is not easy to live the life of a Christ follower. Sometimes there are obstacles in the way. Sometimes there are people who try to stop us or try to attack us for our faith. The easy way out is to simply live a life dominated by sin and to live the way the world tells us to live. The world tells us that possessions in this life are king – that the more you have the happier you will be. Jesus tells us that possessions in this life mean nothing. He says, “what good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” (8:36) Taking up our cross means that every day of our lives we make the decision to live for Jesus. We make the decision in faith to surrender everything to Him, even when our situation seems difficult or impossible.
For many years, I chose to live my life according to the world’s standards. I worked daily for ME. I tried to gather more money and more possessions and focus on the pleasures of this world, and left little time for God. In those days of my life, God was merely an afterthought at the end of the day when I went to bed at night and said a brief prayer. The more money I made and the more possessions I acquired, the more I wanted. Nothing was ever enough. Things that once tasted sweet lost their flavor after awhile. Thus is the way of sinful living. One day, I finally learned to listen to God’s Word. I finally came to a place in my life when I was able to admit that I was broken. I was able to see that living for ME was short-sided and foolish, and that pleasures of the flesh are nothing compared to pleasures of the Spirit. One day, I decided to pick up my cross and follow Jesus. Ever since that day, I have tried daily to once again pick up my cross and follow Him. Do not get me wrong – I am far from perfect. I still fall down. I still have bad days, and I still have struggles, but I know now that God is with me. I know that when He sees me, he no longer sees me as a broken mess. He no longer sees me as a sinful man. When God looks at me, he sees the perfection of Jesus Christ. This is what Jesus did for all of us on that cross.
When Jesus died on the cross, he made a way for all of us. I would guess that most of the people reading this have been saved. Most of the people reading this have found Jesus Christ as their answer and are also washed in His blood in the sight of God. If you are reading this and you have not found Jesus, I pray that you will search for Him. I pray that you will reach out to Him and find the grace and mercy of God that can wash all of your past clean. For those of you who know Jesus and who have been saved, I ask you a question – are you taking up your cross daily? Are you following Him? These are the questions I ask myself every morning. It would be easier to live in a bubble and hide the light that Jesus Christ gave me when He saved me. It is much more difficult to let that light shine to the world. How can you let that light shine today? How can you witness for Jesus Christ today? How can you take up your cross today? These are the questions we all must ask as we do our work for the Kingdom of God.
During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you? Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.
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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.
Posted on October 31, 2014, in 02 - Mark and tagged Bible, Christian, Daily Bible, Daily Devotional, Evangelism, God, Godly Living, Jesus, Perseverance, Religion, Service. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.