“Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it — but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.” Mark 8:34-35 [See also Luke 9:23.]
“Whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.” Luke 14:33
This doctrine is discarded by all who call Christ “Lord, Lord,” but do not the things which He says. The language of their hearts is, “Speak to us smooth things, prophecy deceits” (Isaiah 30:10). How different was that of the apostle! “Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified” (1 Corinthians 9:26-27).
No cross, no crown.
Let us not, then, be afraid of the cross; for, when we bear it, it bears us. And when we refuse to take it up, we refuse the staff of every Christian pilgrim and the weapon of every Christian soldier. We renounce the tree of life for that of vain knowledge, and practically deny Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Our life should be an imitation of the life of Christ; He is our example. We must carry His cross, tread in His steps, breathe His spirit, and then we shall wear His crown. The way Jesus went is our way. The end Jesus aimed at is our end. And the home of Jesus will be our home.
Devotion by Karl Heinrich von Bogatzky (1690—1774)
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Do not be anxious about anything. (Phil 4:6)
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must rightly remember who is in control. Our God is sovereign over all things, including COVID-19. As Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) said, “The sovereignty of God is a soft pillow on which weary people lay their heads.”
Remember also God’s gracious promise, and that it is true and He is faithful to keep it: Hebrews 13:5 …”I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” The next verse remind us of the power that comes in trusting God and how we can live: Hebrews 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man [or COVID-19] shall do to me.
God loves us, and in Christ we find confidence and calm in times of uncertainty and trouble. When we trust in God, fear is replaced with faith, stress is replaced with strength, anxiety is gone and hope abounds, problems become opportunities, and we are able to receive the blessings God has for us in the midst of difficult circumstances. Turn to Jesus. He will lead you to the still waters and give rest for your troubled soul.
This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast…Hebrews 6:19
Be Ready Always...
to give a reason for the Hope that you have (1 Peter 3:15). When you can’t share the gospel with your words, share it by leaving tracts that tell people about God's grace.
When leaving a tract, always be diligent to pray about the short gospel message. Pray that it be found by someone who is in need of Jesus’ saving grace, and pray that the person will have a tender heart and open ears to receive the gift Jesus desires to give them.
By the power of the Holy Spirit, even a small tract can help in turning a broken sinner from darkness to light.
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