Today’s Scripture Selection: Luke 9:23

“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

Much has been written about these words of Jesus; and much debated about what it means to

  • Come after me
  • Deny himself
  • Take up his cross
  • Follow me

What I haven’t often found discussed is that it is a daily process.

Discipleship isn’t just for the “professional” clergy.

Faithfulness isn’t something to be delegated to the weekend – at church on Sunday.

Servanthood can’t be, or shouldn’t be, compartmentalized to certain charitable or religious activities on a certain day or time.

Following Jesus – cross and all – is to be something we do every single day.

And maybe that is why it can be so difficult to do.

Maybe that’s why it is tempting to take normal, everyday stressors and say with a sigh, “Oh, I guess that’s just my cross to bear.”

But I think if we look closely at what Jesus is calling His followers to do – it isn’t about having to deal with difficult people at work; struggle along with some pesky health issue; or being patient with your in-laws (all of which I have heard described as a “cross” to bear).

No, I think it is about approaching each twenty-four hour period of your life, the best you can, as a Christ-follower.  And, I think it’s about, little by little, day by day, trying to be just a little more Christ-like.

And guess what. By God’s grace – it can be done.

Prayer: Lord, help me to walk with you – each day – as you would have me walk.  AMEN.


By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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