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Hopefully everyone had a good Ash Wednesday and made the firm decision to return to the Lord with a repentant heart. We must be sorry for our sins before we can be ready to receive God’s forgiveness. We must also walk in the direction of the Lord. The Christian life is centered on walking toward and with the Lord.
Jesus said, “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”
Yes, to walk with the Lord requires a daily decision to pick up our cross and follow Jesus. We must be intentional disciples of Jesus.
And what is this cross we must carry? It takes many forms. It is the saving cross of giving our life for the sake of others (our spouses, our children, our neighbors). It is offering up the heavy cross of our suffering as a type of prayer to God. It is the happy cross of almsgiving we provide for the poor and needy. It is said best by Jesus, “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.”
Ultimately, receiving life instead of death is paradoxically found when we give ourselves to God, observe his commandments and follow his will.