A reading for Monday, May 11, 2015: Luke 9:18-27.

"If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me."

Have you ever noticed the word daily in that verse? Sure, we recognize the concept of sacrifice and service for the gospel. We know there are times in life when we will be asked to do something difficult in order to remain faithful. But daily?

Perhaps we reach too far in considering what denying self and taking up the cross actually means. Surely we are not expected to be heroic on a daily basis. We imagine Stephen and the other martyrs of faith. Our world of extremes informs our ideas that in order to take up our cross means we have to be publicly humiliated or worse. But Jesus already died for our sins. He suffered in order that we might be saved.

Taking up our cross simply means that we shift our focus from ourselves to Christ. Not what we want, but how Jesus lives in us. Truth is, it is a daily struggle to live with Christ, and to deny our impulses toward comfort and security, selfishness and scarcity. The way of Christ is peace, love and generosity, service and sacrifice, and when we deny ourselves we recognize Jesus Christ in our daily lives. We see peace! Daily is the best way...


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