Home » Devo Prayers » Mark » Mark 8:31-35

Mark 8:31-35

Show me Jesus, Father, and show others the Jesus in me.


“…If any of you wants to be My follower …you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross, and follow Me.” (v 34 NLT)

Somewhere along the way, Lord, You helped me to learn that each of the gospel writers wrote to a particular audience.  Matthew, for instance, wrote especially to the Jews.  Luke (the only non-Jewish biblical author) wrote to Theophilus, Gentiles ,and to people everywhere.  John most likely wrote to new Christians and searching non-Christians.  When You had Mark pen this gospel, he addressed it to the Christians in Rome, where he wrote it.

These Roman Christians would’ve thoroughly understood the directive to “take up his cross” (NIV) or “shoulder your cross” (NLT), since they had seen this act time and time again with each act of Roman capital punishment.  Each man, who’d already been condemned to die, had to carry his cross to the place of his own execution on that cross — just like You did, Jesus.  This doesn’t refer to putting up with some sort of irritation in my life.  No, Lord, You said this, because You mean that to truly follow You, I must submit, like You did, and follow in Your footsteps, willingly doing Your work, even when it is difficult and the future looks bleak.

Before You said “take up your cross,” You said, “deny yourself” (NIV) or “put aside your selfish ambition” (NLT).  You weren’t talking about denying myself something I enjoy, like a particular food or activity.  You were reaching deeper than that with Your statement.  You were saying that if I truly want to follow You, I must stop making myself the object of my life and actions.  You, not me, must be at the center of all I do.  If there were a literal throne in my life, I’d need to stay off it and allow You to sit upon it always.

“If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it.  But if you give up your life for My sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will find true life.” (v35 NLT)

Your desire for me, Lord Jesus, is that I would stop trying to control my own destiny and let You direct me.  You ask me to submit to You, and are not calling me to self-hatred (by saying “deny self” or “lose your life”).  You see a broader picture than I can, knowing that so much more is in store when I choose to follow You, choose to submit to You, and choose to seek Your joy instead of groping, scratching, searching around in this life on my own.  Whatever I could amass for myself on this earth would only be temporary.  I want YOU to be in control, Lord.   I desire the treasure of You and Your kingdom, not the trinkets of earth.

Here I am, Lord, cross hoisted to my shoulder, eyes on You, and ready to walk with You down any road, at any cost … as You make me more and more like You every step of the way.  Amen.

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