TAKE UP YOUR CROSS DAILY

Scripture Reading: I Samuel 26

“But David said to Abishai, ‘Do not destroy him, for who can put out his hand against the Lord’s anointed and be guiltless?’ And David said, ‘As the Lord lives, the Lord will strike him, or his day will go down into battle and perish.'” (I Samuel 26:10,11)

David had another opportunity to kill Saul, but he refused to do so. He knew that killing the Lord’s anointed was not the right thing to do. God had made Saul king and thus David respected Saul’s position.

One of David’s trusted men encouraged David to take matters into his own hand and put an end to his enemy — “God has given your enemy into your hand this day. Now please let me pin him to the earth with one stroke of the spear, and I will not strike him twice” (v. 8). It seemed so simple — one stroke of the speak and David’s foe would be out of the way! But David knew better and chose to act on principle rather than out of pragmatism.

We are often faced with issues in which we have to make choices. Do we do what seems simple to accomplish our purposes and desires, or do we do what is the right thing to do? We live in a day of pragmatism — do whatever we need to do to accomplish the desires of our hearts. We are often tempted to compromise what is right in order to achieve what we want for ourselves — a little lie here and there won’t hurt; cheating now and again is ok as long as we don’t hurt anyone else. You get the picture.

Doing the right thing may mean making hard choices. David could have killed Saul and been set free from his enemy, but he knew that was not the right thing to do. When we face the temptation to take the easy way out, we must remember that our Savior refused the easy way and chose the cross. Thus He says to us — “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me” (Luke 9:23). David sacrificed the easy way and chose to deny himself and to take up his cross.

What about us when we face choices? Will we take the easy way or follow Jesus and take up our cross?

Lord Jesus, forgive me when I choose to take the easy way out of things rather than doing the right thing. You took the most difficult route by voluntarily going to the cross. I pray that You grant me the desire and the strength to come after You. I know this means that I must deny myself and take up my cross daily and follow You.

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