General Robert E. Lee is remembered for his greatness as a military leader. His heroic life is well documented and his accomplishments are still studied by military leaders today.
Toward the end of his life he was asked to attend the christening of a child. The mother, pleased at his presence, wanted it to be remembered by all that were there. “General Lee,” she began, “you have achieved a great place in history. Give us a word that will guide our son through life.”
After thinking for a moment, General Lee cleared his throat and said to those gathered around him, “I have had one creed all of my life that has guided me through many struggles and much suffering. Teach him,” he advised the parents, “to deny himself.” Nothing new here.
Years ago Jesus said, “If any of you want to be my followers, you must put aside your selfish ambitions, shoulder your cross, and follow me. If you keep your life for yourself, you will lose it.”
His followers understood that, too. Following Him meant making a commitment that could lead to death on a cross – but ultimately, life everlasting.
Prayer: Father, we all want lives of comfort and convenience and not the cross. Empower us to deny ourselves and serve You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Scripture for Today: Matthew 16:24-28 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.