Scripture Reading: Luke 9:23–26
Key Verse: Luke 9:23
He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.”
In the back of your mind, when you hear the words deny and cross, you usually think of suffering. You might even get the vague idea that yielding to God’s will for your life is going to mean always walking a hard road or giving up everything you ever hoped for in favor of a foreign plan.
Denying yourself doesn’t mean eating only bread and water or not letting yourself have good things. Jesus was talking about submission, the one-time act of saying to the Lord that He is in charge, that Christ is your Master and Savior and is free to use your life any way He pleases.
“Taking up your cross daily” is the step-by-step process of acting out that commitment and affirming it each day as you make decisions. If you want to take a certain action, but you know that God has a specific command against it, then you must make a choice—your way or God’s way. And because He is absolutely loving and absolutely holy, you know that His direction is in your best interest and for your ultimate good.
Self-denial is Christ-acceptance. Saying yes to Him means opening up your life to adventure that leads only to blessing. Begin to act out your commitment today!
Lord Jesus, my answer is yes—I will follow You! Help me act out my commitment today as I walk Your way.