Today's reading

Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” –Luke 9:23 NIV

September 10, 2023

The Beginning of Freedom

Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” –Luke 9:23 NIV

As believers, we’re told to surrender all to God. We even sing the old hymn, “I Surrender All.” We know that to live a victorious life, we must pick up our cross daily and follow Him. But surrendering has a negative connotation. It means giving up. Surrendering involves completely abandoning our own will and taking on the thoughts, ideas, and teachings of God. Until we truly know the Lord, the idea of surrender can be scary.

What are God’s intentions? Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) states them well: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” The Apostle John affirms the Lord’s good intentions toward us. “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well” (3 John 1:2 NIV). Rather than the end of who we are, these words sound like the beginning of who we were created to be. Surrendering to God’s will, not living out ours, conforms us to His image. From surrender comes freedom, and from freedom comes peace.

prayer focuses

Father, I surrender everything to You. May my body, my words, and my actions glorify You.

Father, Your ways and Your thoughts are higher than mine. Thank You for leading me.

music

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about the

Author

Brenda Beattie

Brenda Beattie is a retired letter carrier and an active Chaplain for the USPS. She and her husband retired to Bradenton because they loved their church, Bayside Community Church. She has self-published two books, "Finding Sacred Ground In The Daily Grind," and "The Case Of The Missing Letter." She is also a repeat author for "Chicken Soup For The Soul." Her articles appear monthly in the "Mountaineer," a postal publication. Her hearts desire is to encourage and to give hope.