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More to Life

More to Life


More to Life

Devotions for Life

I Will Carry It For You

“For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth. . . ” (2 Chron. 16:9). 

The following story about a young Christian on a rock climbing excursion with friends came to my attention, particularly since she was engaging in an exercise which frightened her greatly. For a rest period. Though scared, she walked out on a shelf of granite that had a safety rope handing over it.


Which Cross Are You Bearing?

“And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me” (Matt 10:38 NASU). 

How often we misuse the words of Jesus. Cross bearing is more than a hangnail.  

There are some situations where we have no choice in in the matter of carry crosses. It is thrust on us. When Jesus fell under the weight of His cross, there was a man, Simon, who happened to be there for the Passover who was thrust into service by the Romans. He was forced to carry Jesus’ cross. He had no choice or suffer the same fate as Jesus. So He picked up Jesus’ cross and carried it the rest of the way (LK. 23:26). He did not pick up his own cross, but the cross of the Lord. He was an innocent bystander who happened to be there. We may be called upon to carry one another’s burdens, and fulfill the law of Christ (Gal.6:2). Also. often, sickness, physical challenges or limitations, financial problems, loss of children, loved ones or friends, and a host of other things are thrust upon us without any personal responsibility other than “time and chance” happens to us all (Ecc. 9:11). We must take up our cross, deny ourselves, and follow Jesus. 

There are also crosses of our own doing. The two robbers, (incorrectly called thieves), who were crucified with Jesus, carried their crosses like every condemned man in those days. They didn’t volunteer to carry their crosses; it was thrust upon them for their own evil deeds. Many people, because of foolish living, and sinful choices, are forced to carry the burden of guilt, a damaged body, and a shortened life, or even loss of job, family, respect, and even incarceration and death. They sowed to the flesh and reaped corruption (Gal. 6:7-8). They “sow the wind and reap a whirlwind” (Hos 8:7). Peter wrote, “For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience?” (1 Peter 2:20). 

Finally, there is a cross we “pick up” ourselves, because we are Christians. Jesus bore the cross for you and me. The second part of 2 Pet. 2:20 is “But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.” Peter also said, “For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly” (v. 19).  

A cross is an emblem of execution. It can kill you. We should be careful not to describe small matters as our cross. It trivializes what Jesus meant. Real hardships (our own or others), and injustices are crosses.  

It is interesting that Mark mentions the names of the sons of Simon, the man who carried Jesus’ cross (Mk. 15:21). What’s the significance of that? Certainly, someone became interested in Simon enough to obtain his name and the name of his sons. To include them in Mark’s gospel account suggests that not only did Simon become a believer, but also his two sons. Cross bearing just might lead others to Christ! 

Hymn: “Send The Light”

Our God in heaven, give us a willing heart to carry our crosses so that others may give you glory through our humble obedience. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Rob Redden, Arroyo Grande, CA (

Something We Must Not Love: Praises of Men

Ponder: People’s Approval and God’s Approval 

Scripture: “Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God” (John 12:42, 43, NKJV). 

“Fine sermon, preacher!” Most of us who preach regularly have heard this countless times – and not because our sermons are always great! We appreciate sincere compliments and encouragement. However, whether we preach or do something else, we must not crave the approval and praises of people – not even religious people! 

In Matthew 6, Jesus warned His disciples not to seek the accolades of people. Whether it was in charitable giving (vv. 1-4), prayer (vv. 5-15), or fasting (vv. 16-18), Jesus wanted their motive to be single: pleasing God. If they sought the approval of men, they might well receive it – but that is all they would obtain. On the other hand, if their motive was to please God, He would “reward you openly” (vv. 4, 6, 18). 

Of the hypocritical Pharisees Jesus said, “all their works they do to be seen by men” (Matthew 23:5). Not everything the Pharisees did was good; but even good works, when motivated by the desire for human approval, fall short of pleasing God. 

One of those proud Pharisees was Saul of Tarsus. He converted to Christ, and is better known to us as the apostle Paul. Before his conversion, Saul was a rising star in the Jewish religion (see Galatians 1:14). He was on his way to a brilliant career as a respected Rabbi. After his conversion, though, Paul suffered the wrath and resentment of those who formerly had approved of him. To his credit, Paul stayed true to Jesus. To the Corinthian church he wrote, “Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him” (2 Corinthians 5:9). Why did Paul maintain this motive? “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ . . .” (v. 10). On the Day of Judgment, what people think about us will not matter; our only concern will be whether we are pleasing to God. 

Let’s avoid the bad example of the rulers who believed in Jesus, but would not confess Him because they would lose the praises of men. Instead, like Paul, let us seek only to please God. 

Song: “Take The World But Give Me Jesus” 

Prayer: Gracious Father in heaven, You are worthy of all our praise. May we ever seek to please you, regardless of whether other people approve. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Joe Slater (Justin, TX