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October 17 – Carrying the cross for Christ

And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life.” – Luke 18:29-30

Scripture reading: Luke 14:25-33

Clearly our Lord Jesus calls us for a whole-souled commitment. He demands that we reorder our loves (v. 26), release our lives (v. 26), recount the costs (vv. 28-32), and relinquish our grip on our possessions (v. 33). This is what it means to be his disciple. Have we done that? Have we given up our cherished desires, even for legitimate things, for the sake of Christ? Are we willing to give up time and money and energy and reputation and comfort to serve our Redeemer? Are you ever uncomfortable for the gospel’s sake?

Christ is not necessarily asking us to sell everything and go to Nepal as a missionary. Though it would be great if we sent out more missionaries! But he is asking us to give more of our time for prayer and our money for missions. He’s asking us to forego visiting with family some Sundays so we can be a blessing to those in the congregation who are unlike ourselves. He’s asking us to show hospitality, to visit the elderly, and to witness to unbelievers despite our discomfort. He wants you to speak to the visitor at church even though you are quiet and introverted. He is calling children to serve their parents and siblings. He is calling us to be uncomfortable for Him.

Sound restrictive? Not if you see it as service to the Saviour. At the end of a long life of suffering for the Lord Jesus, the great missionary, David Livingstone, said his hardships were ‘nothing when compared with the glory which shall be revealed in and for us. I never made a sacrifice.’

Suggestions for prayer

Ask the Lord to teach us where we might serve Him as Christ’s disciples. Pray that God would raise up ministers and missionaries to go to the ends of the earth with the gospel of life.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. John van Eyk is the Senior Pastor of Trinity Reformed Church (United Reformed) in Lethbridge, Alberta.

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