Matthew 16:24-25 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.<sup class=”crossreference” data-cr=”#cen-NIV-23697A” data-link=”(A)”> For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.”<sup class=”crossreference” data-cr=”#cen-NIV-23698B” data-link=”(B)”>
A Beautiful Easter Prayer by Ken GireHelp me to realize what You are doing in my life, Lord, and how you are doing it. You are changing me into your likeness – and You are doing it day by day, decision by decision. Thank you for this incremental wonder. And help me, incrementally, to work with You in bringing it about. May I FEEL
the WEIGHT OF THAT CROSS on each thought I THINK, so my thoughts could die and Yours be given life.
the HARDNESS OF ITS WOOD over ever word I SPEAK, so my words could be silenced and yours be heard.
the ROUGHNESS OF ITS SURFACE against all I DO, so that what I do is what you would do if You were here. Because that is how You are here. Through me.
When I am TEMPTED to
THINK MORE HIGHLY OF MYSELF than I should, bring to mind that though You existed in the form of God, You did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Yourself – taking the form of a bondservant, and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in the appearance of a man, You humbled Yourself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on the cross.
RESPOND TO HARSH WORDS by returning the harshness, help me to realize the example You set for me on the cross, that while You were reviled, you did not revile in return; while suffering, You uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Yourself to Him who judges righteously.
ACT SELFISHLY, draw me once again to Your cross, where you gave so freely and so fully. To Your executioners, You gave forgiveness. To a thief, paradise. To Your mother, a son.
MAY I NEVER GROW WEARY of living like that, Lord. And may I never seek rest from the responsibility of that cross, understanding that dying to self is not a one time crucifixion but a way of life. – Ken Gire