Daily Devotional for Sunday January 9, 2011

Jesus Said to Pick Up the Cross and Follow Me

(Luke 9:23)

Jesus said to "pick up the cross and follow Me". For Jesus, the cross He bore was the sins of mankind. God has not asked any of us to bear such a burden, but we each do have a cross we are asked to bear. For some of you, it may be a marriage that is in trouble. Many are bearing a cross of physical affliction. Some are bearing a cross of financial difficulties. We each have a cross that God has asked us to bear.

How we bear that cross each day becomes the challenge we face. Let me give you some insight I have gleaned from the Word of God in regard to this. First is having a right attitude. God promised not to give you more than you can handle. Trust Him. He loves you and knows you better than you know yourself. Second, realize that you can't do anything in your own strength.

Oftentimes the cross we bear keeps us humble and constantly reminded that it is not in our strength that we live, but in His. Lastly, give thanks for the cross God has given you. Give thanks? The Bible tells us to give thanks in ALL things. That includes those things that we may not be very thankful for. Don't forget my friend, nothing happens in your life that God doesn't know about or allow to happen. So yes, give thanks even for your burdens, because God has a plan and is doing things you cannot even see or understand.

The best advice I can give you today to help you carry that cross God has given you, is to stay close to Him. Be in prayer and the Word each day. Be in church and fellowship with other Christians. Find ways to serve God. All of these things working together keep you focused on Him. The farther you get from God, the heavier that cross will become. It is through carrying the cross each day that we become perfected and more like Him. Rejoice today, carry your cross with thanksgiving, know that God is walking with you every step of the way!

I love you, and care about you so much. Know that when you get weary, when your cross becomes too heavy, I am here to help you. God has given me an incredible blessing to be able to be here each day for you...to pray, to stand in the gap, to counsel you through those difficult times in life we all go through. Never hesitate to reach out and contact me. I am here. I will be praying for you today, praying that you will pick up your cross and follow Jesus today.

In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller