Carey Lewis Devotions
Friday, June 5th, 2020
Bearing A Cross
Whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.
John 19:17 (NKJV)
And He, bearing His Cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull...
John 14:27 (NKJV)
From now on let no one trouble me, for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.
Galatians 6:17 (NKJV)
To many Christians, carrying a cross* is nothing more than pretty jewelry and going to church on Sunday mornings: hanging out with mostly friendly people-- who say and do mostly positive things.

To early Christians, carrying a cross meant a gruesome, humiliating death after fully surrendering to Christ. Hanging out was what their sinless King did, and His followers faced similar risks.

I know this subject is hard to discuss for several hard to bear certainties:

* We want to believe the best of our kin: smiling people who say they love Jesus. We don't know their hearts, and we can't judge them. All true, but we can be their examples.

* Who wants to endure a tortuous death? No one, but eleven apostles did.** Surely countless other saints were martyred. Even now, Christians are hunted and killed.***

* We must be willing to die for our faith. Willingness doesn't always bring abuse, but if and when a time comes to stand up, we must confess our Lord-- no matter what.

* Day by day, we work on dying to self-- by not considering our welfare first. Selfishness is seen in self-indulgence and modeling unChristlike behaviors.

One way I translate carrying my cross is following my duty unto death:

To prioritize the Great Commission,
To avoid 'easy' and 'normal' ways to live,
To walk the straight, narrow and harder path.

## Bearing A Cross (Part 15)

*Excellent article, What did Jesus mean when He said, 'Take up your cross and follow Me'?

** One of many articles on how the apostles died:

*** Open Doors is a charity to persecuted Christians:

P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Bearing series.

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"I labored, yet not I. By the grace of God, I am what I am, and do what I do' (paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 15:10). I love God's Word. As a late-in-life committed Christian with no Bible training prior to age 51, some people wonder how I'm qualified to write devotions. I wonder that, too. But God loves children and fools for Him. I am both. Ghost Writer? God.

Carey Lewis

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