The Hebrew word for devote is mukdash, which means to “consecrate” or “dedicate.” This word is used often in Scripture to emphasize how believers are focused on The Lord.
When we make the decision to dedicate ourselves to God, we embark on a deliberate journey of sacrificing elements in our lives that do not draw us nearer to Him. These sacrifices may vary in scale, ranging from modest ones like books, TV shows, and movies, to more significant ones, such as distancing ourselves from individuals who may not align with or encourage our commitment to Christ.
Jesus lays out the blueprint for true devotion to God. He tells His disciples in Matthew, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”
Taking up a cross is no small matter. It means understanding that you will have to sacrifice things and experience hardship as a devotee to Christ.
Indeed, some of the most harrowing tales in human history recount the trials and tribulations endured by individuals who unwaveringly adhered to their faith. These narratives tell stories of unimaginable suffering, persecution, and even martyrdom. These are the stories where the weight of the cross becomes all too real.
However, it’s crucial to recognize that these narratives also reveal the incredible resilience and faith displayed by those who bore their crosses. Though often marked by profound hardship, their stories are equally marked by the miraculous, the blessings bestowed upon them, and the extraordinary impact they had on bringing souls to Jesus.
Bearing the cross may seem hard, but following Jesus is more than worth it. Miracles and blessings, both big and small, show us that we are on the right path that leads to Him.
1. Commit Acts 2:24 to memory.