Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Denying ourselves and following Jesu

Denying ourselves and following Jesus
S -Matt 16:21-27 (NASB)

21 From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day.22 Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, "God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You."23 But He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God 's interests, but man's."
Discipleship Is Costly
24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.25 "For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.26 "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?27 

O - Jesus example to us during his ministry on earth continues to show us perspective on how to live our lives following Him.  We find two juxtaposing verses regarding Peter's wisdom and discernment as a follower of Christ.  Just prior to verse 21 , Jesus gives Peter a great praise for recognizing him as the son of God, the Christ, and promises to build His church on the rock of Peter.   But as Jesus began to reveal God's plan for him as the Christ,  Peter leaned not on what the spirit of God was telling him but his mind and flesh and thus tried to rebuke Jesus.  But Jesus did not only deliver a rebuke right back to Peter, but set a clear picture for all disciples that follow that there is a cost to following God's plan and following the Christ.   A disciple must be willing to deny themselves, pick up their cross and and follow Christ.

A -  The application for me is recognize I have that same decision to make .   Will I deny myself, pick up my cross, and follow Jesus.     At times that answer has been an easy yes, and my life was full of contentment in doing so.  In this season of my life, I believe the answer to be yes, but am sure if I am following him, or denying myself appropriately.   I think my distraction around things of the world , circumstances, other peoples actions or opinions has caused me to focus too much on myself and not focus on the things God wishes me to do, even if that means denying myself. I must go back to trusting in seeking and following him in all things.

P - Dear heavenly Father, thank you for the revelation of your word, and the gift of Jesus.  Jesus thank you for setting the example for me to follow, and giving me your love, peace and strength to be able to deny myself, pick up my cross and follow you.   Lord I ask that you help me filter out and reject the distractions of this world, or the attempts of satan to distract me from following you.   I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen.

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