April 1, 2015

Read: Matthew 16:24

With four siblings growing up and  four children of my own, there were many childhood scuffles over the same toy. We are all born with a sin nature, and no one has to teach us the word "mine."  Yet, that is the very first thing we have to deny in order to follow Christ.  In Matthew, Jesus is giving specific instructions on how to follow Him and exactly what it will cost us.  Once we have come to receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior, it is no longer about me. That old sinful nature I once fought for as "mine" has to be nailed to the cross and die.  

Several of Jesus' disciples were fishermen, and the first thing they had to do in order to follow Him was to drop their fishing nets.  They had to turn and walk away from everything they knew as "mine."  Everything they were holding onto had to be released from their grip in order to follow Christ.  We cannot carry something as heavy as a cross with stuff in our hands.  In order to pick up the cross and follow Christ I must first let go of “mine," so that my hands and heart are emptied of everything about me.

Have you counted the cost of carrying the cross?  It will cost us everything to carry the cross, just like it cost Jesus everything to die on it.  The price is worth the prize of eternity with Jesus.  

Pray:  

Adoration: God is holy, mighty, gracious, and merciful. Spend time declaring your love for Him and expressing your thoughts of praise and worship.  

Confession: Ask God to search your heart and reveal any areas of unconfessed sin. Acknowledge these to the Lord and thank Him for His forgiveness.  

Thanksgiving: Express your thankfulness to God for the blessings He has given you. When we consider that we deserve punishment because of our sinfulness, and instead God gives to us His love and mercy, our only response should be one of thankfulness.  

Supplication: Petition God regarding your family and your ministry.  Ask for help and guidance in sharing your Jesus with others and helping others grow in Him.  Offer prayers concerning your activities for this day and any special concerns you may have.  Intercede on behalf of local, national, and world missions.  Pray the Great Commission would be fulfilled and for any special concerns you may have for missions.