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Friday, September 20, 2013

~And Jesus said, 'Take up thy cross and follow me.'



DEVOTION:


And Jesus said, “Take up your cross and follow me.”  

Jesus speaks to us in Mark 8:27-9:1 about discipleship.  Clearly outlined as priority-guidelines for the Christian, the above scripture clarified a lifestyle for the disciple of Christ.  "Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me ... whosoever will save his life shall lose it but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's shall save it.  

What place does the Lord Jesus hold in your life?  Is it first place?  I wonder if the Lord is requesting a daily renewal of our initial pledge of self-denial.  Does He not want us each day to accept His will anew for our lives ... earnestly and joyfully no matter what cross he has set before us that day?  Some days seem more difficult than others.  Some crosses seem heavier to bear.   Oh, that we may lift our hands and hearts and voices and say:  “But this cross is my joy…this daily cross, a step toward heaven, toward home.”  I sense that the Lord wants us yielded and resting afresh, every morning, every moment in this great love and that the cross of Christ in our lives is his message of healing and of hope.  "For now we see in a mirror darkly, but then face to face"   (1 Cor. 13:12). 


 This life on earth?  As pleasant as it can be, we all are born and we all must die.  Our time of earth is comparatively short…and seems especially short as we approach old age.  Self ~ without the love of God?   To what gain?  Jesus said; “For what shall if profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?”  Mark 8:36.   The words written by Helen H. Lemmel are:   “The things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace."   Those composed by Beverly Shea are:   “I’d rather have Jesus than anything this world affords today."   How sweet and assuring are Fanny Crosby’s inspired words that inspire trust to be led by "His nail-pierced hand" to life abundant "beyond the river,"   The composers encourage us to live in fullness of life, now.  They tell us that eternity is ours because God‘s promise is true.   We have been redeemed and made new by the blood of the Savior and we purpose diligently to be His disciples and bring honor to his Name.             
 Carol Ann T. Castagna
© October, 2012