Jesus said to His Disciples in Matthew 16:24-25 "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life
will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it."
What a weird title...but I couldn't think of anything else-- by that I mean, that title just kept coming back. As well as the possibility of writing on this blog! I know it's been forever-- and so many things have changed in a year's time...and then again, so much has not.
You know how it goes-- there's a laundry list of things to get done around you and then you have your laundry list of things to get done IN you - and yet year after year the same struggles abound. I think some of this fact is that generational sin that God mentions numerous times in the Scripture and some of it is maybe just our sin- nature - that we're prone to habits- some good, some bad- and they are so hard to break!
My thoughts this morning are focused in on this verse-- what in my life do I need to deny and lose to follow Christ? Is it an attitude (or two or three or four?!) Is it a thought pattern? A bad (sinful) habit? Laziness? Glutonee? Lack of discipline? Worrying? Prayerlessness? ... See all these things are SINFUL habits-- not just "bad". We're just too easy on ourselves. God expects, rightly so, perfection. "Be holy for I am holy" (I Peter 1:16 - see a great devotional here about this text!) I am ever so thankful this morning that JESUS is my righteousness, my only hope for eternity AND earthly change. It is not having faith that I will someday be changed, but having faith IN CHRIST to change and transform me and bring me closer to HIS righteousness. Though never completely attained here on earth, we MUST strive for this -- and it begins with denying self.
This morning the "it" I must lose is my desire to gratify self/flesh with the temporary "goodness" of foods and my thoughts that so easily tell me God must not actually want the best for me because He allows such-and-such in my life. Both are wrong. Both are sin. And both must be given up to Jesus-- moment by moment. He IS enough.