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Shield Daily Devotional  

Day 111

Why did Jesus tell us, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." What was so important to Jesus about our carrying our cross? Why couldn't it have been about giving money, or teaching the Bible or evangelizing? The answer is found in the same chapter (Matthew 16) verse 21: " From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day." Of this verse Thomas Haweis says: "Christ’s method is to let us into the knowledge of his truth by degrees: it would utterly have staggered us, if we had known at first all the discouragement we should afterwards meet with." It was after the disciples were convinced of Jesus' Divinity that He disclosed His death at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes. It is the same with us; after we have come to Jesus Christ in repentance and received salvation being convinced that He is God, we then must deny ourselves and pick up our cross and follow Him. It was important to Jesus because He was instructing us to be like Him. He was asking us to do what He was about to do.

Jesus wants His followers to pattern themselves after Himself. This makes sense. If you look at people in the stands of a sporting event many have jerseys of their favorite player. They have coffee mugs with their favorite team logo on it. They have flags for their cars. They have ball caps, ink pens and even baby clothes so they can properly indoctrinate their child to follow their preferred team. Jesus wants His "team" to dressed in cross carrying and self denial. Why couldn't we just buy a tee-shirt with His Name on it instead? The reason is that that is not His official team wear. I'm sure you have seen certain products that say "Official Licensed Clothing."

If you want some official "Jesus Gear," you won't find it at the store. You will find it in the prayer closet and in the Word during your studies. It is in the self denial and cross carrying that you will show your support for Jesus. It won't be cheap but it will be well worth it. Why not try some gear on today? But make sure it is the official wear and not a cheap imitation!

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