Daily Devotion-February 18, 2022

Daily Devotion-February 18, 2022

Matthew 16:24-26

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone wants to follow me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. In fact, whoever wants to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. After all, what will it benefit a person if he gains the whole world, but forfeits his soul? Or what can a person give in exchange for his soul?

Dear Lord Jesus,

You give us these words of what it takes to follow you. We must deny ourselves. Each of us has our own crosses that we must carry through this life. Each cross is unique to that person. One deals with the loss of someone close, another persecution for being Christian, someone else has health challenges, another their ego, or an addiction. The list can go on and on. However, no matter our cross, you want us to deny ourselves, pick up that cross, and follow you. So what does that mean to deny myself? Our human nature wants to either ignore that cross altogether or even fight against that cross, with the world’s attitude: “I can do this myself.” But when we deny ourselves, we remove the selfishness of our troubles, and we cry out: “Lord, I cannot do this on my own. Help me!” We lay our problems, persecution, health, sins at your feet; we follow you. We find true life through faith in you by losing the world’s ways.

Jesus, you came to this earth and took care of our most significant problem, and that was sin, and along with sin comes all the guilt and pain we deal with every day. We can do nothing about our sins on our own, but you took them all to the cross with you, and in return, you gave us life.

Lord, send us your Spirit, and please strengthen our faith that we have no desire to hold on to this life; instead, we turn to you because of our crosses. You asked what it will benefit if we gain the entire world in exchange for our souls. Absolutely nothing! Lord, let us always focus on your forgiveness of sins and the love you have shown to us; let our faith be firmly grounded in you so nothing will ever rock our world away from you. To lose our soul means an eternity of even greater suffering than we could ever face on this earth, but life, hope, and salvation are with you.

Please be with me today. Grant me the strength to pick up and carry my cross; keep me grounded in your love; then let me share that love with those around me that they too can lose themselves in you. Amen

Written through Pastor Roger Emmons

Following Christ means you are all in with both hands grabbing ahold of him and letting go of the world and its vain pleasures because only Jesus gives you life.