Happy Tuesday! The Lord’s mercies are new. Today is a good day to try again.
BIBLE VERSE – Matthew 16:24-25 NLT
“24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. 25 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.”
The disciples had been with Jesus for sometime. They saw miracles performed. They new Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of the living God. They also had a personal relationship with Him. In verses 21-28, Jesus predicted and prepared the disciples for His death. While it must have been a difficult conversation, given Peter’s response in verse 22, Jesus continued with His mission.
The cost of following Jesus Christ may seem too high of a price.
• Give up our own way
• Take up our cross
• Follow Him
Often we are hesitant about doing things a certain way. Usually we have our own vision for what things should look like and how we expect things to turn out. Unless we have seen a successful outcome we may not participate or get involved in things that do not align with our plan.
• Are you willing to give up your own way and submit to God?
• Are you willing to pick up your cross and follow Him?
A Deeper Reflection
When we follow Jesus, we learn to put our trust in Him. We trust God’s word and expect “28 that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. 29 For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory. (Romans 8:28-30)”
Please note, I’m not saying everything will be perfect, but what I am saying is, I rather walk in this world with God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit on my side, than to live a life with no hope, in despair and restlessly searching for something to fulfill a desire that can only be filled by God.
Father God, we are tired of doing things our own way. No matter how hard we try we simply get the same results when we fail to first look to you for direction, forgive us for thinking we could do anything better than you. Lord, we repent of our sins, we surrender our lives and our dreams to you. We accept you as our Lord and Savior. We want to follow you with our whole heart, body and mind. Lord, help us to live a life that pleases you. Teach us your ways and imprint your word on our hearts. Lord, change us. Lord, we also pray for Christians who are suffering for the sake of following Christ. Lord, be with them and protect them. Lord, be with the missionaries around the world who are spreading the gospel message around to the ends of the earth. Lord, equip them and give them favor. Lord, be with our brothers and sisters in the faith who are mourning the loss of loved ones. Lord, comfort their spirit. Lord, touch those who are ill and bring healing to their bodies. Lord, protect all the children/students as they go to school today. Keep them safe, give them wisdom and discernment to finish the semester strong, give them peace and favor in the classroom and on their exams.
Comfort and transform us, Lord. Build our hope and trust/faith in you. Lord, we want a personal relationship with you. So we invite you into our lives from this day forward. Lord, speak to us, direct our thoughts and when we get in the way of your plan, quickly correct us and redirect us so that we follow your plan. In Jesus name, amen!
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