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The Way of the Cross

Daily Reading: Luke 9


Scripture Focus: And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?” (Luke 9.23-25)


Devotional Thought: What sane person of the world would willingly trade comfort, wealth, and status for the hardships of following a Nazarene nobody? Or, even more unbelievable, who would willingly face persecution and even death, if they were not utterly convinced of the truth of the gospel?

Though his disciples did not yet fully understand what it would mean to take up their crosses daily and follow him, they certainly understood after Jesus’ resurrection. These men were so convinced of the truth of the gospel that they were martyred for their faith in many cases, refusing to abandon their beliefs. They clung to Jesus’ words as they died; “whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it” (v.24).

"What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?” In our world, self-sacrifice is drowned out: each man for himself; carpe diem; YOLO (you only live once); you deserve some pampering; if it feels right, do it. For those who want to be like Jesus, the attitude should be just the opposite. “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). Those who chase after the things of this world will not be able to chase after the things of heaven as well. They're in opposite directions! Let us pursue the way of selfless love, and proclaim the gospel with complete confidence to those around us.


Jenny


Prayer: Lord, the way of the cross is so antithetical to the way of the world. Help me to deny myself, take up my cross, and follow you. In doing this, I will save my life. Amen.


Psalm of the Day: Psalm 136.17-26

17 to him who struck down great kings, for his steadfast love endures forever; 18 and killed mighty kings, for his steadfast love endures forever; 19 Sihon, king of the Amorites, for his steadfast love endures forever; 20 and Og, king of Bashan, for his steadfast love endures forever; 21 and gave their land as a heritage, for his steadfast love endures forever; 22 a heritage to Israel his servant, for his steadfast love endures forever.

23 It is he who remembered us in our low estate, for his steadfast love endures forever; 24 and rescued us from our foes, for his steadfast love endures forever; 25 he who gives food to all flesh, for his steadfast love endures forever.

26 Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.

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