Joined: Dec 2006
Friday, August 5, 2011
<> <> <> <> <> Matthew 16:26 <> <> <> <> <>
Take Up Your Cross and Follow Jesus
[English Standard Version]
24 Then Jesus told his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would 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 shall a man give in return for his soul?"
Jesus asks the most profound questions! Queries designed to make us reflect honestly, deeply, soul-searchingly...
I'll venture to say, based on personal experience, that each of us comes to that ultimate question - "what are you willing to give in return?" - at the point of our being 'born from above'. We believers, in whatever century we've lived, have all answered God's call with the same response, a resounding "ALL!" - "ANYTHING!" - "EVERYTHING!"
Matthew 10:36-39 and A MAN’S ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD. “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it."
From time to time it's prudent to check our priorities and make sure we're still standing firm'. We need to be sure nothing holds us back from the real life in which we hold such longing and hope.
Matthew 10:24-32 “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household!
Therefore do not fear them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops. Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell[lit. gehenna]. Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows. Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven."
There's a reason we use words like 'encumberance' and 'weight' to describe our alien residence here, so we have to be vigilant against the heavy worries of this world that make us feel physically and spiritually weighed-down and held-back. May we always keep in the forefront of our minds, the precious ever-growing affection and devotion to our first and forever loves - our Father and our Lord!
Matthew 11:29-30 "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Galatians 5:1 It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.
Revelation 2:3-5 and you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 5 Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent.
1 John 4:7-10 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
:heartbeat: Love YOU ALL!