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23 Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?
things that are best for me may not always appear to be so at first
glance. What might seem to be good for me may actually be bad. Jesus
says that putting myself first is the worst thing I can possibly do for
me. Jesus says that while avoiding things that are difficult and
sacrificial may seem to be a safe course, it will lead to my ruin.
Jesus says that working to accumulate things is the way to lose what
matters most. Jesus says that being obsessed with winning is the surest
path to defeat.
Following Jesus—listening to him,
obeying him, emulating him—may not make sense to those who do not
recognize him as life and truth. It may appear to be loss, but in
reality it is gain. It may appear to be hardship, but in reality it is
blessing. It may appear to be a cross, but in reality it is a crown. It
may appear to be a rejection of yourself, but in reality it is the only
way to discover and become the person God has in mind for you to be.
Response and Action:
is the only way to test Jesus' words. Taking action is the only way to
prove his promises. He says that the way to save myself is to lose
myself for him.
I believe that Jesus has more to offer
me than the world does. I believe that his way is better than my way. I
believe that his wisdom is greater than mine. I believe that following
him is better than trying to find my own way. Because I believe Jesus
Christ, I will follow, listen, and obey—even when his way seems like
foolishness to others.
O God, you
have sent your Son, Jesus, into the world to be a light and he has
called me to walk in his ways. Because I love him, I will obey him.
Because I trust him, I will follow him. Because I have followed Him for
years, I believe him even more today. Because I have obeyed him, I
trust him more. Because I find life and meaning and purpose in him, I
desire to surrender to him more and more. Give me the wisdom and the
will to lose myself in him. Amen.
Spiritual Formation Verses: Philippians 3:7-9
7 But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8
What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing
greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost
all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9
and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes
from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the
righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.
Who Switched the Price Tags
by Tony Campolo