Take Up Your Cross Daily

“And He was saying to all, If any one desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23.

Depending on the translation you use, you’ll find the word “daily” appears up to 62 times in the Scriptures. It’s an interesting word. For us natural procrastinators, it’s a good reminder that there are many things we can’t put off until tomorrow, if we would live lives pleasing to God. Our Lord Jesus Christ calls us to daily follow Him, and not just in a casual manner either.

THE CALL OF CHRIST: The call of Christ occupies the mind of every Christian who wants to be counted a faithful servant before God. What does it mean to take up our cross and daily follow the Son of God? How do we do this? Jesus certainly didn’t make it optional, neither did He make it seasonal. Daily, I’m pretty sure we’d all agree, means every day, not just when it’s convenient, or our mood suits us to be a bit more religious. Personally, I think when we come to this subject we’re all learners. The real expert on the Christian life is the Holy Spirit who speaks to us in the Scriptures. The rest of us are all learners. He not only knows what we need to be doing, He’s the one doing it in us and bringing it into practical daily reality. (Philippians 2:13; John 14:17, 26).

DAILY PRAYER: “Daily” we are to pray for our sustenance. “Give us this day our daily bread.” Matthew 6:11. We learn from Matthew 4:4 that Jesus meant more than just physical food when He taught his disciples to make this request. Spiritual food is a daily necessity. We need to be nurtured by the word of God every day. So, we can make an application here. If we’re to daily take up our cross and follow Jesus, then we also must learn to daily pray for the strength to do so. The yoke of Christ (Matthew 11:29) is not heavy. There’s no wrath in any cross we’re asked to bear. But it’s still a cross, and brings the shame that the world heaps upon the name of our Savior and upon His true Church.

DAILY TRUST: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6. There is no aspect of our lives, no situation in which we shouldn’t completely trust the Lord each and every day. Think about this today, especially today when the stress and strain is high. Don’t lean on what you understand. Lean on the One who has perfect knowledge and understanding. Lean on the One who works all things out according to His will, not yours. Lean fully on Jesus, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.

DAILY RESOLVE: “And it came to pass, when the time was come that He (Jesus) should be received up, He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem…” Luke 9:51. In the same way that Christ “set His face” toward Jerusalem when it was time for him to offer Himself on the Cross for our sins, even so, we too must resolve (set ourselves mentally with determination of will) in our hearts to live for Him and take His name upon ourselves “daily” as we tell others about God’s gracious offer of salvation through His Son to save sinners.

THE PATH WE MUST WALK: We are called to obey and honor His words daily. Determination and resolve need to be settled in our hearts and minds as we go out daily into the world. We must ask God to bring this about in our character. Taking up the cross is a willful thing. It’s obviously not a self-willed thing. but there is a willfulness about it. We must will (by God’s efficacious grace working in us) to do God’s will, not our own. This isn’t easy. Actually it’s impossible apart from God. But good news, as Jesus told us, “the things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”

THE APPOINTED PATTERN: We will need to have a vital daily contact with God’s voice via the Scriptures. The Bereans were of this sort. “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” Acts 17:11. If we daily read God’s word and apply our thoughts to it, we will be better prepared to serve Him throughout the day. I have heard many testimonies from a good number of Christians who took the time to memorize passages from the Bible, that their other work, whether in the job marketplace, the school or college, or in the home, it didn’t take away from their work, and they actually saw improvement in their lives and labor.

So, “daily” is an important word for the Christian. From the few short passages we’ve considered in this devotion, we’ve learned: 1. We’re to take up our cross daily. 2. We’re to pray daily 3. We’re to trust Him daily. 4. We’re to study our Bibles daily. 5. We’re to walk and follow Him daily. There are a lot more things that we can learn about daily trusting God, but I hope you’ll learn more as you personally apply the principles above to your daily life in Christ.

A PRAYER: Our gracious God and heavenly Father, daily You have blessed us. Daily we need Your care. Bless us, we pray, this day, by the grace and power of Your Holy Spirit that we may follow Jesus Christ Your Son truly as our Lord and Savior. Help us to live today so that we may speak with others about the Word of Life as you open opportunities for us. Give us discernment to know when those opportunities arise. Help us to remember your Word as we go out into this world. This day, dear Lord, belongs to You. Be with us. Protect us and guide us in Your perfect will. To You we give all the glory and all the praise through Jesus Christ. Amen.