Read: Matthew 16:24
Surely, I am not the only one who would rather struggle into my house, loaded down with shopping bags, than to make a second trip. I am a “Let’s get this over with” kind of gal. However, this is not the life I lead. Everything I do must be repeated, repeatedly, again and again. The house does not stay clean, nor does the laundry. Every time I take my kids somewhere, I have to bring them back again. Dare I compare such mundane life to the cross of Christ? In Matthew 16, Christ says we must take up our cross. When I think of my Savior, beaten and bleeding, struggling under the weight of His cross, I cannot fathom what it means for me to take up mine. Yet, as I watch the evening news, I am reminded that this world is coming to an end, and although my future is secure, I am all too aware that there are some very big crosses awaiting some of God’s people, and I, very well, may be one. Will I be able to carry it? Will I stand?
Unlike overburdening myself with groceries from my car, the cross I am given will not be more than I can bear, because Christ Himself said so in Luke 11:30, "For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Yet, I know others have, in deed, failed Him, and that thought sobers me. In order for the burden to be light, I must place myself in Christ’s yoke, under His control. Detail oriented Luke provides us another insight in how to bear our cross, with an additional word in his account of Christ explaining the cost of discipleship. He reports in Luke 9:23 that we are to take up our cross daily. Living as a disciple is in direct opposition to a “getting it over with” mindset. It is in the dailyness that we are prepared for our futures. David stood against lions and bears before he ever faced Goliath. Taking up my cross daily means working everyday as if the Lord had assigned my tasks. It means continually taking my thoughts captive. It means viewing all my appointments as Divine, and it means knowing that the little blessings and the little trials of my life are preparing me for the big ones. Being faithful daily means I do not have to question whether I will be faithful eternally. In learning to die to myself, I not only live for Him, but I learn how to die for Him.
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 to help you be a faithful steward of your time, talents, possessions, and relationships. Offer prayers concerning your activities for this day and any special concerns you have. Intercede for your local, state, and national governments. Pray for spiritual revival in the nation and offer prayers regarding any current events and concerns.