Complete Spiritual Dedication, Part 2.

Evening Devotion/ Reflections on Christian Life/ 201A-001 (Luke 9:23–24)/ Key Text: “Then 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. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.” (Luke 9:23–24, NKJV)

Heart Questions: [1] What does it mean that believers must take up their cross daily? [2] What does it mean to follow Jesus?

Yesterday, we look at three words: Love, Living, and Learning. We saw that when we love the Lord the way we ought to: “with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength” (Mark 12:30); we will then (by the Spirit’s help) be able to keep His commandments (John 14:15).

Today, we are going to talk about the second word, DAILY LIVING. Jesus said “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” (Luke 9:23, NKJV)

What does it mean then to take up their cross daily? There is a double meaning in “take up their cross.” It means to follow Jesus to the death if necessary. It also means to die to selfish desires and ambitions.

Thus it further explains how to “deny yourself.” When Jesus used this picture of his followers taking up their crosses, everyone knew what he meant. Death on a cross was a form of execution used by Rome for dangerous criminals. A prisoner would carry his own cross to the place of execution, signifying submission to Rome’s power. Following Jesus, therefore, meant identifying with Jesus and his followers, facing social and political oppression and ostracism, and no turning back.”

What does it mean to follow? These words applied to the disciples and to all who would become disciples and enter his fellowship. Recognizing and confessing belief in Jesus as the Messiah is only the beginning of discipleship. Following Jesus doesn’t mean walking behind him, but taking the same road of self-denial and self-sacrifice. Because Jesus walks ahead, he provides an example and stands with his followers as encourager, guide, and friend.” [Bruce B. Barton, David Veerman, Linda Chaffee Taylor, and Grant R. Osborne, Luke, Life Application Bible Commentary, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1997), 245].

ACTION STEP: What response do you think this lesson should inspires us to do?  [1] Daily Living— We ought to take up our “cross daily and follow Christ” (Luke 9:23). We are to accepting Him, and live for Him daily!

[2] Denial Living— “Not I, but Christ” (Gal. 2:20).  Note also Paul’s words, “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts” (Gal. 5:24).

[3] Determined Living— We ought to be like Daniel! “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.” (Daniel 1:8, NKJV) Daniel had to make a choice. No one could choose for him. This determination helped him all through his life, (cf. Acts 20:24).

[4] Learning— We ought to learn in the School of Christ daily: “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:29, NKJV) All Christians should study the life of Jesus Christ, and learn more from His Book, the Bible. May the Lords bless you as you do these things, Amen.

Have a Good Night: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20, NKJV)

The Gospel’s Voice/ Devotional Themes/ The Christian’s Conduct & Attitude / Thought # 2