Where to Find Encouragement to Take Up Your Cross Daily

Read Luke 9:23-27
(Click the Scripture reference above to read on BibleGateway.com)

In his message on Sunday, Rev. Stephenson said Jesus teaches that self-sacrifice leads to contentment.

“…If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it.
But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. …”
—Jesus
Luke 9 24 NLT

This from the One whose purpose is to make the way for a rich satisfying life. If He says give up your life for His sake to save your life, then that must be the key to a contented life.

 But, as Rev. Stephenson pointed out, it’s a challenge to follow Jesus.

Choosing daily to pick up your cross and die to self is hard.

The writer of Hebrews gives advice on how to make such a hard choice each day:

Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed — that exhilarating finish in and with God — he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!
Hebrews 12:2-3 The Message
When you wake up one morning, and the cross doesn’t look so good, look to Jesus. Study His story. Spend time in the Gospels. Ask Him to encourage, sustain, and pump you up with spiritual adrenaline.

The more you know Him and understand what He has done for you, the more willing you will be to sacrifice for Him. Then you will know a full, abundant, rich, satisfying life of contentment.
Consider taking time this week to sit and read one of the Gospels in its entirety. Be encouraged.

In your struggle against sin, 
you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.
Hebrews 12:4 NIV

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