Silence and Stillness before God (2 minutes)
“Jesus warned his disciples not to tell anyone who he was. “The Son of Man must suffer many terrible things,” he said. “He will be rejected by the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He will be killed, but on the third day he will be raised from the dead.” Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me. 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. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but are yourself lost or destroyed? If anyone is ashamed of me and my message, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in his glory and in the glory of the Father and the holy angels. I tell you the truth, some standing here right now will not die before they see the Kingdom of God.”
“What is my cross today, and where shall I carry it?” Leonard sweet.
When Jesus first called his disciples and said follow me he had in mind the end of the journey was the cross. On one hand Jesus died to bring us back to God. (2 Corinthians 5:18) The price was paid in and the sacrifice complete. On the other hand, Jesus calls us to take up your cross daily. How do we reconcile those two thoughts? He couldn’t mean to go to a literal cross as we can’t do that daily.
Before calling us to take up our cross he also said we must deny ourselves and follow him. It’s tempting to try to be neutral but in the end only serve ourselves instead of Jesus. Losing ourselves and everything we find our identity in seems like a way to have no self remaining yet strangely Jesus claims we will find it. In the last days before the cross Peter and the other disciples did just what he said they’d do. They deserted him. They loved him but they wouldn’t pay the price. Their minds rested on human and temporary concerns.
Question to Consider
When we do bow down and pick up our cross, and we won’t move to follow are we really staying neutral or are we denying our Lord?
“Father we often coast through life. We let our our life become dictated by our human concerns. Lord help us to let go of the things we’ve bound ourselves too. Free us from the things we’ve given ourselves to. Releases from the bonds of oppression into the freedom you have for us. You’re so kind as to give us all of yourself. Thank you for your life you poured out for us.”
Conclude with Silence (2 minutes)
The 40 days of decrease blogs have been inspired by the book “40 Days of Decrease” by Alicia Britt Chole.