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Take up Your Cross – July 5, 2023

Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
Matthew 10:38

Take up Your Cross

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Daily Devotion – July 5, 2023

Devotion based on Matthew 10:38

See series: Devotions

At the end of this month, the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod will meet in convention with the theme, “Embrace the Cross; Anticipate the Crown.”

At first glance, embracing the cross is a strange concept. The cross was a big wooden instrument of punishment. It was publicly shameful to die on a cross. People didn’t embrace the cross. They shied away from it. They did not want it for themselves, and they did not want it for their loved ones.

Knowing all this, Jesus still encouraged people to “take up their cross.” He explained that it meant to follow him even when there appeared to be unpleasant consequences all the way to death.

Following Jesus is still a challenge today. It’s not always popular, and it doesn’t always lead to pleasant consequences. It may mean denying some of our own desires and sensibilities. It may even lead to death.

But carrying a cross to follow Christ is worth it because he is the only one who can provide for our greatest needs. He went to the cross to die for our sins and win eternal life. He is our only hope! So, whatever challenges come our way because we worship and follow him might be painful, but we will gladly endure them because we know the crown we will one day wear because of him.

Lord, because your hands and feet were pierced for me, and because you were abandoned even by your heavenly Father, I am rescued. Be with me when I face my own crosses, and instill in me the confidence to say, “My Savior has won the victory for me!” Amen.

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All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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