Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Decisions decisions......Some are easy, some are not.

Mark Chapter 8:

34: And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. 35: “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36: “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? 37: “For what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 38: “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” NAS

Notice in verse 34, Jesus called His disciples AND the crowd. He wasn’t just instructing the 12 men that followed Him on what they must do, He was telling everyone, yes you and me too, what they would have to do to be a follower of Jesus.

You will have to deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Him. Your Cross, interesting reference there. Jesus had only begun His work and not openly as yet, but here we see Him referring to the cross. The meaning cannot be lost on us, can it? He was warning us of the hard life that we would have as His follower. He isn’t promising any of His disciples a rose petal covered path with no stumbling stones. He isn’t saying they will receive accolades and hurrahs. He is promising His disciples a hard life, full of self sacrifice and hardship. In verse 35, Jesus explains that self sacrifice will be the norm, not the exception. That should you value your own life and/or lifestyle so much that you put it above Him, everlasting life will be what you actually sacrifice.

My very favorite verse is 36, how on point it is! Short and sweet I always say. “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?” There can only be one answer to that question. Death. Oh sure, while here on this rock, you can have all the bells and whistles, new cars, fine clothes, but guess what happens to all that when you’re gone? Yard sale, donated to Good Will, or burned up as so much garbage. What then? Where will you be? I ask you,dwell on it, don’t answer to quickly, is it really worth it?

Verses 37 and 38 make me think of a sign I once saw on a church marquee. It said, “No Jesus = Death, Know Jesus = Life. Think about it.” I speak to many folks through the course of a week, and often in our conversations they will tell me that they know Jesus, but their fruit doesn’t show it. Sometimes I think they are telling me what they think I want to hear. It makes me very sad. My prayer is that they will come to know the saving Grace of the Lord in a mighty way, to be healed of the afflictions they suffer. I know they say they know Jesus, but my question is, when the time comes, will Jesus know them?

When we are filled with The Holy Spirit, we should not have to proclaim our lives. Our lives should erase all doubts. The trouble is that isn’t always the case. Our human nature pokes it’s head out on occasion. But the fruit should be there. It should be a testament to our Father. That is my goal, won’t you make it yours?

Blessings ~ Kat

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