Pick Up Your Cross One Day at a Time

Today’s reading is Luke 9.

I like Luke’s record of the teaching about cross-bearing because of its use of the word “daily.” Cross bearing is not done annually, monthly, or even weekly. It is done daily. If I did a great job bearing my cross yesterday, I’m not done. I need to pick it up again today. If I did a terrible job bearing my cross yesterday, I’m not finished. I can pick it up again today. Additionally, there is no sense in putting my cross down today simply because I fear I can’t carry it for a week, a month, a year, a decade, or even a lifetime. After all, today is the only day I have. I may not even live to see tomorrow. Tomorrow can worry about itself. Let’s just go ahead and pick up our cross for today. Are you ready?

Tomorrow’s reading is Luke 9.

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The Body is for the Lord

Today’s reading is 1 Corinthians 6.

God did not give us bodies so we could be involved in sexual immorality. Expanding that point, we recognize God didn’t give us our bodies so we could do whatever we pleased with them. Rather, He gave us bodies so we could serve Him with them. The body is for the Lord. But also note that the Lord is for the body. In other words, any restrictions or requirements God gives us are actually for our benefit. After all, our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Whatever God tells us to do with those bodies will be for our good because that is also for God’s good. Further, what God tells us is for His good will be for ours as well. He is glorified in our bodies not by putting us down or diminishing our bodies, but by lifting us up in our bodies. Therefore, let’s be excited to glorify God in our bodies. That will be best not only for God, but for us as well.

Tomorrow’s reading is 1 Corinthians 7.

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Today’s reading is James 5.

As we talk about making disciples, we need to remember it is not merely an issue of bringing someone out from the world and into Christ. The end of disciple making is not baptism, but being like Jesus. In other words, disciple making is, in a sense, “Christ making.” No, I’m not saying any of us will become the Savior or be able to pay the ransom for anyone else. But it really is to become “Christian,” or “little Christs.” That is why the last few verses of James are so important. As we make disciples, don’t just look out to the world, look to your brethren. Look especially to brethren who are wandering from the truth and work to bring them back. That is just as much making a disciple as converting those completely outside of Jesus. Can you think of some fallen brother or sister you can call this week?

Tomorrow’s reading is Philemon 1.

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Making Disciple-making Disciples

Today’s reading is 1 Corinthians 4.

Paul gives us the example of what we really want to do. We don’t just want to make disciples. We want to make disciple-making disciples. Paul was able to send Timothy to develop the disciples in Corinth. And that is the real plan to create a generational legacy for Christ’s church. As you develop disciples around you, develop them to develop others who will develop others. Keep the message alive.

Tomorrow’s reading is 1 Corinthians 5.

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The Call to Discipleship

Today’s reading is Luke 14.

Jesus amazes me. He doesn’t pull punches. Unlike so many today who want to soft sell discipleship and then try to fill people in as they grow in their discipleship commitment in some crazy hope that they won’t abandon it once they really find out what discipleship is all about, Jesus just lays it on the line. “So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.” There it is. All the cards on the table. Discipleship isn’t one hat added to many, it is the hat. It is the overarching definition of who we are. Are you ready to renounce all in order to be Jesus’ disciple?

Tomorrow’s reading is Luke 15.

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