Hello y’all. Today we are looking at Matthew 16.
I am focusing today’s blog on verses 24 – 26
Be blessed 🙂
“Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?” (Matthew 16:24-26 MSG)
Jesus, in the verses above was telling His disciples if they intend to follow Him, they must be wiling to let go of themselves and let him lead. They must be ready to give over control of their lives to him. In a nut shell self sacrifice!!!
The same is required of us as children of God, we have to be ready to deny ourselves in order to truly follow and serve God. Jesus showed us the ultimate example of self sacrifice when he willingly gave up himself on the cross so as to reconcile us back to God. So when He asks us to deny ourselves of some pleasure, we shouldn’t see it as a big issue compared against all He went through for us. Don’t forget this is not for God or Jesus’ benefit, it’s all for our own benefit.
Self sacrifice according to Dictionary of Bible themes is “The willingness to leave one’s possessions or to give them to others; to deny oneself to the point of death or to give oneself in the service of God or other people”.
(Dictionary of Bible Themes Scripture index copyright Martin H. Manser, 2009. As Editor, Martin Manser )
Jesus says self sacrifice is the real way to finding one’s true self. When we deny ourselves and let God have full control of our lives, we get the most enjoyment from life. The truth is, God knows everything. He created it all, so who best to lead us if not the one who created us and everything around us in the first place. It only makes sense to allow God lead. He has already walked the path we are walking now. He has gone through everything we could ever go through. Scripture says he was tempted in all ways yet without sin. So why not allow the one who has been through it lead you and take control.
Most of us don’t like the idea of suffering but the truth is self sacrifice involves some form of suffering. Jesus is telling us not to run away from the suffering, but rather embrace it because its for our good.
“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way”. (James 1: 2- 4 MSG)
“But that’s not all! We gladly suffer,[a] because we know that suffering helps us to endure. And endurance builds character, which gives us a hope”. (Romans 5: 3 – 4 CEV)
I Peter 5:10 says “But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you”.(NKJV)
Our suffering is not in vain, God will use the suffering to perfect us and produce in us godly virtues hence why James tells us not to try to get out of what God is doing prematurely but rather let it do its work so we become mature and well developed.
What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for? This earth is not our final destination; there is life after this earth and that’s what we should be concerned with. That life is eternal either eternal life reigning and enjoying with God or eternal damnation with the devil, burning in the lake of fire where there is constant gnashing of teeth. The choice is ours. We have to be willing to loose our lives on this earth in order to gain it for heaven.
What is that thing that is worth you loosing your spot in heaven for? Is it your money, career, family, earthly possessions? Don’t forget those things are here today gone tomorrow. But your soul is for eternity. Jesus said build up for yourselves treasures in Heaven where no moth or thief can destroy. Let’s invest in Heaven’s economy.
Dear Lord, we thank you for today. We ask for grace to let You lead and be in the driver’s seat of our lives. Help us deny ourselves and pick up our cross to follow You. Help us not be distracted by the things of this world but help us get our priorities right and keep our focus on Heaven. Thank You, Lord. In Jesus’ Name we prayed. Amen
Thank you for joining today.
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Have a blessed week 🙂
***With God all things are possible***