He called the crowd and his disciples together and said to them, “If anyone wants to follow me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it. But whoever loses his life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.
Dear Lord Jesus,
You want only volunteers to be your followers, no one compelled or forced to be your disciples. How do we volunteer? When we deny ourselves daily, to take up our crosses and follow you. We look in the mirror and see that horrible sinfulness that on its own would draw us to the abyss of hell; the sins in our lives want to pull us away from you; without your forgiveness, we are doomed.
How do we deny ourselves? By looking in that mirror and asking for forgiveness for all our sins. There is nothing here on this earth that can save us from our sins. Lord, only you and your crucifixion have the power to save us, so let us focus on what matters: our salvation. We do this by denying ourselves by going back to your cross, laying all our sins before you.
Lord, give us strength to trust your words that we are forgiven. Thank you for sending the Holy Spirit to create saving faith in us. That we may live sanctified lives through this faith, wanting to deny our sinful desires and feeding our faith with your Word and Sacraments. Never let us fall; fill us with your love that we cling to you. Through you—your life and death—our salvation and eternal life are restored. Let us hold on to these truths no matter what life should bring us. Amen.
Pastor Roger Emmons
Trusting in God is not forced but makes us part of the most outstanding all-volunteer group of believers. Deny yourself again today, go to the cross, believe Jesus’ words, that you are forgiven, thereby, you are saved.