Daily Devotional for Saturday May 4, 2013

Take Up Your Cross

(Luke 9:23)

***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, since we only have one Holy Bible how can so many denominations claim different meanings? You can take the same verse and each group says it means a different thing.

ANSWER: That is why it is CRITICAL for people to read and study the Bible, so they can spot bad doctrine, or man-made traditions that have no Biblical support. On all of the main issues of faith, who is God, who is Jesus, the Holy Spirit, what is sin, our purpose, and most important, salvation, are not disputed. They are clear enough for a 3rd grader to understand. Sadly, it is on many non-critical issues that men have fallen into satan's trap of division, mainly in order to create their own separate churches. The motivation is usually to have earthly power and wealth. The good news, when a person dies, it won't matter the name of the building you chose to worship in, only if you have accepted Jesus as your Savior by faith or have rejected Him.

Jesus said, "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. 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, and to counsel you through those difficult times in life we all go through.

I will be praying for you today, praying that you will pick up your cross and follow Jesus today. Never hesitate to reach out and contact me at bkeller@liveprayer.com. I am here to help you carry it.

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

Bill Keller