We are going through a series at church called, Things I Wish Jesus Never Said which is about hard truths. A couple of weeks ago the focus was on Mark 8:34-37:
Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?”
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*What does it really look like to lose my life for God’s kingdom?
*How dare you (I) not give Jesus everything?! He deserves everything.
*Jesus wants to be everything to/for me.
*Look for ways to empty your life.
*Live for more than your comfort and convenience.
*Galatians 2:20 – I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.
This was a very challenging and convicting message for me. What are the things that I hold back from giving to Jesus? Why do I think that worldly things are better than all that Jesus has to offer me? I am constantly amazed at God’s provision for me and yet I still live as though he is not completely trustworthy. There is nothing this life and world can offer that could possibly compare to Jesus and yet my life does not represent this knowledge. For some reason, it has not reached my heart and translated into thoughts and actions. Am I afraid of missing out on something? This fear is actually causing me to miss out – to miss out on the things God has for me. I drag my feet when called to be obedient rather than fully trusting and believing Jesus is all I need and all I could possibly want.
It’s nice seeking comfort and convenience. It’s hard to choose discomfort and inconvenience. Unless. Unless by choosing discomfort and inconvenience, I find my purpose for this life. Unless I become engaged with God’s plans and find myself living for God’s kingdom and for things that truly last, things that moth and rust cannot destroy. In those moments when I feel that I am doing what I was made to do, when my desires and actions are aligned with God, I feel truly alive. What if I could feel truly alive all day every day? What if the seemingly mundane things of daily living were done for God rather than man? What if each morning I turned my heart toward God and sought his agenda? What if I really did seek to empty my life of that which is unnecessary and unneeded in order to have room for God’s plans?
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