Today’s Reading: Luke 9
Key Verse: Luke 9:23
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…”
The decision to follow Jesus was made by His followers initially. Peter, Andrew, James and John left their nets. Levi (Matthew) left his tax collecting post. The others left whatever it was they were doing. Now Jesus teaches that this decision must be made daily. As God, Jesus made the decision, with His Father, to become man. As Man, He learned daily to live in obedience. “Though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered” (Heb. 5:8). We may choose to meditate on Isaiah chapter 50. Isaiah 53 is known better as a description of Jesus’ cross, but this teaching is found throughout the Prophets. Isaiah 50:4 says, “He awakens me morning by morning to hear as the learned.” In Isaiah 50:7, the experience of the Messiah is described this way, “I have set my face as a flint.” This writing is designed to help us all every day in making a fresh decision to follow Jesus.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord God, I confess that most mornings I would like to stay in bed for another hour, but I know that I cannot follow You closely without doing as Jesus did, taking up His cross daily. I praise You for the grace You give me to follow You. Please continue to give me the gift of discipline every day. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
I have a confession to make. This morning, following my Bible reading and before my prayer time, I was sitting on the couch, my head laid back, meditating on what I had read. There is a big clock on the wall in front of me, and to my chagrin, a half hour had gone by of which I had no memory. The truth is that I fell asleep. I thought of the disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane, but that was no excuse. God had faithfully awakened me at 4 a.m. He had done His part to prepare me to do this, but my part was not so faithful. Nevertheless, at times like this I take comfort in that often-repeated Bible verse, “His mercy endures forever.” That phrase is found 26 times in Psalm 136. God is consistent. I need to learn by making a deliberate decision every single day to follow Jesus more consistently. How are you, my devotional reading partner, doing in this department?
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