Lay Down and Take Up

Jesus laid down His life for us; we are to lay down our lives for others. We “lay down our lives” when we stop consistently giving first priority to our own selfish desires and emotions; and instead, become more sensitive to the needs of others. Jesus’ life illustrates perfectly how this can be done when we determine to follow His example by the power of His Holy Spirit.

Luke 9:23- And He was saying to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”

LAY DOWN YOUR LIFE(DENY OURSELVES)

Lay down seeking our own selfish interests at the expense of others

Stop focusing on ourselves

Refuse to be personally offended

Lay down judging others hypocritically

Do not become envious or jealous

Give up comfort and leave our comfort zone to serve others

Lay down our wealth and possessions for those in need

Give up self-pity

TAKE UP OUR CROSS EVERYDAY (FOLLOW JESUS’ EXAMPLE)

Look to the best interest of others; often, at the expense of our own

Focus on God and others instead of turning inward

Forgive and release people from debt or wrongdoing toward us

Pray for others continually from the heart

Obey God for the sake of other people even when we are fearful

Meet legitimate needs of others as much as possible, even sacrificially

Mourn with others

A cross is not easy to bear; it is not pleasant or comfortable; so we shouldn’t be surprised when our flesh resists taking it up—nevertheless, may we remain willing to suffer for the sake of others.

Dear Heavenly Father, help us continue to lay down our lives for others out of obedience to your Son until we can give freely from a truly unselfish heart of love. We love you and thank you for your empowerment. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.