Ezekiel 39:21-29; 1 John 3:1-10; Matthew 10:24-33
“What do you want more than anything else?” I once asked a man. He answered, “I hope I win the lottery.”
Where is your hope? Have you placed it in your children, job, pension, or some other fleeting gamble? Jesus said that those who believe in and truly follow him will likely be at odds with their family. No hope there. He also taught that you may work hard and store up your treasure in larger and larger banks, but that is of no benefit if your life is required of you tonight. (Luke 12:16-21) There is no hope there either, since death can steal it away.
Scripture teaches that our hope is found in a most unlikely place: the cross, and namely the one who hung upon it for our sake—Jesus Christ. There is no other hope that is assured, even in death. The one who hopes in him is refined in pure hope. He is our family and true riches, our secure dwelling in this life and the one to come.
Take up your cross and follow the one who is your only hope. That is a light burden (Matt 11:30) and one that will not disappoint.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me shoulder my cross and follow you in hope. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by Mark Ryman,
Pastor of Saint John’s Lutheran Church in Asheboro, NC.