Preschool Devotions

Walk the Path Laid out for You

“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me”(Mark 8:34 NIV1).

“You are not being smart; this makes no sense!” “We’ll love you even if you’re not successful.” “How can you leave a profitable career for the ministry? You won’t make as much money. You might have to give up your house. Really, this is all just stupid.” We heard all of these comments and more as my husband prepared to leave a successful business in surrender to God’s call to ministry. We knew that no matter what men said, we would submit to God’s purpose for our lives. Because of Christ’s example, we had faith that full surrender to God’s purpose, taking up your cross, ultimately brings victory in His kingdom.

All for You—Surrender, Sacrifice, Serve How We Know What Love Is

“Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said, ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me’” (Mark 8:34 NIV1).

Deny yourself. Those are strong words. Not at all what we want to hear. Not in our all-for-ourselves culture. When you hear these hard teachings, aren’t you thankful that Jesus never asked us to do anything that He was not willing to do Himself? Because of His willingness to deny Himself and lay down His life, we know what love, true love, looks like:

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and truth” (1 John 3:16).

All for You—Surrender, Sacrifice, Serve Devotion

Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves” (Mark 8:34). What does it mean in the culture of today to deny ourselves? We live in a world that is all about me and what I can get. A look at commercials and ads shows us that in order to be somebody, we need to have the latest and greatest phone, car, tablet, or make-up. To deny ourselves seems counter to what we encounter in today’s world.

All for You Devotion

For having only three letters, all is such a big word. Jesus used the word all when he said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30). Even though it is a small word, it means giving to God our everything. Not just parts or pieces of our lives, but our whole lives. As we begin the new WMU® emphasis of All for You, consider what it means to you to give your all for God. The emphasis title represents a prayer that we are speaking to God as if we are saying, “I give my all for you, Lord.”

In her book, Secrets to Surrender: Living Wholeheartedly, Debby Akerman explores what it means to live out our lives in an all-for-you way. She asks the question, “Do I follow Jesus wholeheartedly?” We are encouraged to ask this question of ourselves. As you ponder her question, also consider Jesus’ words about following Him: “Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (Mark 8:34).

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