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“Jesus used the image of carrying a cross to illustrate the ultimate submission required of his followers. He is not against pleasure, nor was he saying that we should seek pain needlessly. Jesus was talking about the heroic effort needed to follow him moment by moment, to do his will even when the work is difficult and the future looks bleak.” (Life Application Study Bible, Mark 8:34)

"The point at which difficulty enters our lives and our work is not incidental; it is central and significant for at least two reasons. First, it is here that we encounter our own need for God and grow in dependence on God." (Gordon T. Smith)

“God give us the gift of eternal life in Heaven with Him if we accept it. But to follow the path that leads to eternal life with Him is difficult. It means giving up our very selves and living for God by living for others. As ours is a very “me-centered” society, giving of self can be difficult for many people to do.” (Marianne C. Sailus)

“This same merciful God knows how difficult a struggle we have and has given us the strength we need to progress toward purity and holiness. He also rewards us based on our willingness to commit to the struggle—a struggle that is empowered by the grace that abounds when we call upon His Holy Name.” (Abbot Tryphon)

#GordonTSmith #MarianneCSailus #AbbotTryphon

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