Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”
It is hard to see beyond a lifetime. Day after day we live and breathe; we work and play, and aspire and dream. It is no small task to give up the life we see and the plans we make for the sake of a new life we can only imagine by faith. It takes a tremendous effort to turn aside from what we want to take up what God wants, because by nature we are self-centered rather than God-centered. Jesus asks us to take up a cross, so we know there will be suffering, but we also look ahead to seeing God’s glory when Jesus comes again.
Lord God, we pray for the vision to keep our eyes firmly fixed on you, for there is much in this world to distract us from your purposes. Let us choose each day to follow you rather than keep to our own devices. We look to your glory and power, and praise you for the promise of spending eternity with you. Amen.