Denying yourself deals with a willingness to surrender to follow Christ and coming to Him with opens hands. Taking up your cross is actually applying this surrender to your life and making decisions in the moment where you say “yes” to what God wants and “no” to what you want. There is sometimes a difference between what we intend to do and what we actually do in our lives. Without the decision to follow through and carry our cross, we can’t step into the things that God has for us. This is why He addresses a gap that develops in so many of our lives. The gap between our intentions and our decisions.
1. What are some of the ways you see the breakdown between what you intend to do and what you actually do play out in your life?
2. Read Galatians 2:20. If the direction of our lives is not determined by what we intend to do, but by the choices we make, how are your decisions impacting your walk with God? How do your choices differ from your intentions in this area?
3. It can be easy to blame the lack of wise decisions on others, situations, backgrounds and busy schedules, so what kind of choices can you make to take responsibility for your actions and bring them more in line with your intention?
4. Pastor James talked about how the pressure you are under is often how God is preparing and strengthening you to be used by Him. How does seeing the areas of your life where you are struggling as God preparing you change the way you view them?
5. Can you think of an area of your life where you need to, by faith, “take up your cross” and follow where God is leading you? How does Hebrews 10:36 challenge you to make this decision?
6. Was there something from 40 Days devotional that stood out to you this week?
7. How have you been doing with your 40 Days commitments? What are you finding easy to incorporate into your daily schedule, and what is something that is more difficult? How can we pray for you and be an encouragement to you this week?
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