Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Thursday after the First Sunday after the Epiphany of our Lord

Posted on January 13, 2022 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: St. Matthew 16:24-27 (NKJV)
16:24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.
We trust in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins and for the gift of everlasting life. But do we trust Jesus with our daily lives? Jesus tells us: “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23). Are we willing to deny ourselves, take up the cross of suffering which comes with being a disciple of Jesus, and follow Him wherever He leads? Are we willing to give up our own personal goals and ambitions, our jobs, our pleasures, our property, and even our lives, in order to follow Jesus? Do you trust Him enough to commit all to His care and direction?
If we try to save our lives in this world–if we live for ourselves and do those things we desire–we lose our lives. But if we give up our own earthly goals and ambitions, if we deny ourselves and follow Christ, we will find true life. This faith gives us life in Him now as we serve our God and Savior and walk in fellowship with Him, and in eternity as we glorify Him for the gracious gift of salvation He won for us by His innocent sufferings and death in our stead (cf. John 10:10; Rev. 5:9ff.).
Prayer: O Lord, we beseech Thee mercifully to receive the prayers of Thy people who call upon Thee; and grant that they may both perceive and know what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to fulfill the same; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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