And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. Luke 9:23.
The foundation of the plan of salvation was laid in sacrifice. Jesus left the royal courts and became poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich. All who share this salvation, purchased for them at such an infinite sacrifice by the Son of God, will follow the example of the true Pattern. Christ was the chief Cornerstone, and we must build upon this Foundation. Each must have a spirit of self-denial and self-sacrifice. The life of Christ upon earth was unselfish; it was marked with humiliation and sacrifice. And shall men, partakers of the great salvation which Jesus came from heaven to bring them, refuse to follow their Lord and to share in His self-denial and sacrifice? Is the servant greater than his Lord?
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Matthew 16:24. I lead the way in the path of self-denial. I require nothing of you, My followers, but that of which I, your Lord, give you an example in My own life.
Self-denial and the cross lie directly in the pathway of every follower of Christ. The cross is that which crosses the natural affections and the will.
Jesus is our pattern. If He would lay aside His humiliation and sufferings, and cry, “If any man will come after Me, let him please himself, and enjoy the world, and he shall be My disciple,” the multitude would believe and follow Him. But Jesus will come to us in no other character than that of the meek, crucified One. If we would be with Him in heaven, we must be like Him on earth.
Let us follow the Saviour in His simplicity and self-denial. Let us lift up the Man of Calvary by word and by holy living.
And to all who lift it and bear it after Christ, the cross is a pledge of the crown of immortality that they will receive.
The Faith I Live By p. 151
Prayer Requests
—-Please pray that God will guide all of my children. Buck
—-’m asking for a special prayer for Luke born, to my nephew & niece on Thursday, May 31st. They waited 10 years for this baby. The baby was born healthy-looking but did not start breathing right away… He is currently in NICU on life support & in critical condition. Pray for God’s miracle, according to His will. Becky
—-I have a job interview today and need prayer for that to go well. Ann
—-My friend was in an accident and needs prayer. Surgery is scheduled for tomorrow. Please remember her. Kate
Dear Friends,
This week I had to go to the bank for another roll of dimes. Emma and Peter used to have a hard time sleeping all night without waking up their parents. I decided that a little incentive to stay in their own beds that not keep their parents up for an hour or two, would eventually train their sleep patterns. So I came upon a plan to give them each a dime if they slept in their own beds and did not awaken their parents. It has worked very well.
While I was at the bank waiting for someone to come with a roll of coins, I was explaining the reason I needed it. She thought that was a good idea, and soon I was telling her about how afraid I was as a child.
Until I was ten years old, I lived with my grandparents in a large, creaky, wooden house. My bedroom was upstairs. There were many things about that house that scared me. The house creaked and groaned as the boards expanded or contracted, but to a little child, it sounded like someone walking up the stairs. In my imagination, I was sure it was a bad guy coming to get me. Now, it is common for little children to get scared of common sounds at night, but I was more than scared. I could not sleep well because I was terrified.
There was a good reason for my terror. My grandparents had a neighbor and friend by the name of Freddie who was a follower of spiritualism. This man used to bring me lots of candy so I liked him, but he also scared me. He told me many scary things about ghosts and goblins which made me frightened of even ordinary things. No matter how hot the night was, I would not uncover even my head for fear of being discovered by someone or something. Worse yet, the ceiling in my bedroom was papered with a silver swirled ceiling paper that was quite pretty in the daytime. When the moon shone on it, however, it looked like hundreds of glaring eyes staring down at me. It reminded me of things that Freddie had said.
Early one morning, before dawn, I got up and opened the door to go downstairs. Since I was still half-asleep, I accidentally opened the closet door instead. As I closed the door behind me, I was suddenly aware that I was trapped in a small, dark, stuffy place with lots of people surrounding me. I was panic stricken. I felt like I was being smothered. Of course it was only the clothing hanging in the closet that was surrounding me, but I had no idea that I was in the closet. In my fright I didn’t know where I was. I screamed and screamed until finally I was rescued out of that scary prison.
How often we get ourselves into situations that leave us frightened and confused. How many times we allow our minds to be filled with thoughts that terrify us. How often we think we know the right way, but find ourselves surrounded by suffocating troubles. We feel overwhelmed, confused, and helpless. We pray as did David, “O LORD God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before thee: Let my prayer come before thee: incline thine ear unto my cry; For my soul is full of troubles: and my life draweth nigh unto the grave. I am counted with them that go down into the pit: I am as a man that hath no strength.” Ps 88:1-4
Thank God we have a Great Deliverer, Who says, “call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.” Ps 50:15 Praise God! He not only delivers us, but He leads and guides us, and knows us so intimately as if we were the only person in the world. David sang, “O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee. . . . How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee. . . .Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Ps 139
Oh! How our Great Creator longs to have us walk with Him daily as did Enoch. He reaches down to us and asks us to place our weak and trembling hand in His all-powerful hand. His great heart of love yearns over us. He cares for each of us as if there were no other! He longs for us to follow His leading as does a sheep follow a Mid-Eastern shepherd. He will care for us and protect us even laying down His Own Life for us. He assures us, “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. . . . I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.” John 10:11-15 What a Wonderful Saviour!
We have Someone Who will lead us through this sinful old world. We have a Guide and a Protector! We do not have to go through life alone. We do not have to find our own way.
May we ask Jesus to guide us throughout our life, so we will never find ourselves trapped, frightened, and confused.. May we daily give Him our heart fully and completely, that He may fashion it into His Glorious Image. May we follow Him all the way to His Heavenly Kingdom is my prayer.

Taking Up Our Cross
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