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“Deny Yourself”: A devotion by Ann Elaine Broughton

“Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23 NIV).

 

Recently I learned that a friend of mine from one of our previous ministries lost her 42 year old son due to a tragic accident. He was riding his bike and a truck went through a stop sign and hit him. I was heart broken for my friend and her family. When incidents like this happens I become very reflective about life. I think all of us take life for granted. We think that we are indestructible and that death is far off in the future, but we are only guaranteed this moment. We are here by the grace of God. It is important to be doing His will every moment and behaving in a manner that would please God with every breath He allows us to breathe.

 

Jesus said: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” Also: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 37,39 NIV). Are you doing this? When you wake up do you thank God for the day, and ask him to show you ways that you can be used by him? There are so many ways you can show Jesus’ love as you go through your day. You could help someone unload groceries, complement someone, send an encouraging card to someone, tell someone they are doing a great job, or witness to someone about what Jesus had done in your life. The world seems to be full of hate and unkindness now, at least that is what the news suggests. But if each one of us were to show kindness to others, then maybe things would change. It just takes one person helping someone that can start a chain reaction. Be on the lookout for ways to show random acts of kindness. As a Christian this should be how we behave to others. We must love our neighbors as we love ourselves.

 

I pray that those of you reading this will not take your lives for granted, but will be praying every day for ways to show God’s love to others and in every endeavor put Christ first in your life.

 

Dear Lord,

I realize life is short and that sometimes I take it for granted. Help me to constantly be aware that I must put your will above mine. Help me to be a living example of your love as I go about my daily business. Help my words to be uplifting to those around me.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

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