THIS WEEK: A Mission-Minded Person Is Clear in Their Calling!
Life can get hard.
Life as a Christian can get hard.
Fortunately, in America, the burden we bear as followers of Jesus has been fairly minimal compared to faithful Christians who have been willing to give up their life instead of giving up Jesus.
Yet, we can fall under the weight of even light persecution.
Threatened with losing our job, we hide our Christianity. Challenged to accept a lifestyle not God-pleasing, we look the other way. Told our child has the opportunity to get a full college sports scholarship, we neglect worship and gathering with other Christians.
God forgive us.
God empower us and enable us to be your faithful followers and be willing to “take up our cross and follow you!”
Luke 14:27 And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
I remember a devotional series from the now sainted Professor Daniel Deutschlander given while I was at Northwestern College (now part of Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN) entitled, “The life of the Christian is the life of the cross, not of the couch.”
The analogy for college students was appropriate as enjoying late nights and as many hours as possible sleeping or watching TV on the couch was a daily temptation. He knew and was ready to point out the sinful nature has a propensity to take the easy way…not the hard way.
The same with our faith life. Our tendency will be to endure the least persecution possible while convincing ourselves our faith is still strong and Jesus is still our number one commitment.
Satan is lying to us.
God forgive us.
God empower us to live the difficult, but yet joyful reality of being a follower of Jesus…willing to truly forsake all else to live the calling you have given to us…a follower of Jesus. Jesus was upfront with the 12 disciples and with us. Following him is what is most important in life, but also most difficult in life. Yet, Jesus is faithful. For what he calls us to do…follow him, he also equips us to do.
Enjoy taking up your cross and following Jesus…no matter how hard or heavy it may feel!
Apply: Identify the situations in life where you are tempted to lower the importance of your faith in order to avoid standing strong as a follower of Jesus. Ask the Spirit of God to give you boldness and courage to always take up you cross and follow him.
Prayer: Lord, forgive me when I lay aside the cross you invited me to carry. Empower me to carry the cross you give and faithfully follow you! AMEN.
Passage and Prayer for the Ministry of Cross & Crown
- Thursday – Luke 10:2 “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”
PRAYER: Lord, guide us as we pray for the ministry of this church. We ask that you would raise up and send out workers into the harvest field. Help us to equip them to be prepared and empowered to serve and to bless. May we not miss the harvest you have placed right in front of us.