Friday, February 27, 2015

have your read some of the things He said?

 Matthew 16

 Then Jesus said to his disciples,

     "If any of you wants to be my follower,

        you must turn from your selfish ways & ambitions,

        take up your cross,

        and follow me.

 If you try to hang on to your life,

     you will lose it.

But if you give up your life for my sake,

     you will save it.

26 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?

      Is anything worth more than your soul?

Vs 25 goes SO MUCH against the prevailing socially acceptable selfishness that seems to infect & permeate all of our cultural norms.

We're constantly told to look out for ourselves,

     that no one is going to look out for us but us,

     to be who we are regardless of what that might impact others,

     & the rights & privileges of the individual are most important.

But Jesus says that's not the way.

     He says to let loose of our lives,

     trust Him to take over the essence & direction of our lives,

     and as a result, we will each find the life that is designed for us by the God of the universes a gajillion years ago.

That's why when people say to me that they don't believe Jesus to be the Son of God but just a good teacher who had good things to say, I always wonder...

     ...have you read some of the stuff He said?
 verse 25?

I think they are just thinking of some of the warm & fuzzy things they think He said.

Vs 26 is one I think about especially when someone of note dies, someone who has a significant media presence, whether good or bad.

People like Robin Williams,

     Joan Rivers,

     Bob Simon,

     Mario Cuomo,

     the terrorists who did the killing at Charlie Hebdo in Paris,

     Shirley Temple,

     and hundreds more.

I wonder what they would all say to us, right now, if they could speak to us?

Jesus said plainly how futile it is to make your focus anything else other than connecting with Him & being & doing what He leads us to be & do.

I just wonder what the hundreds & hundreds of people who have passed on would say to us about the truth contained in vs 26.

Of course, once again, our culture thinks & believes otherwise...

     how many of us have heard this thought postulated...

     "the one who ends up with the most toys, wins."

I wonder what Steve Jobs would say right now about that kind of thinking?

And I wonder if the people who believe Jesus was just a good man & teacher have read vs 26, too?

It's no small wonder to me that the world actually thinks Christ followers are nuts - most of what we think & feel about things appears to be that way, if juxtaposed to their thinking.

The longer I live, the more I realize that as followers of Jesus, all that we are & think goes against the grain of the rest of the world.

And I've come to expect that we will only get stronger & stronger negative reactions to it.

Don't know where all these thoughts came from this morning.

I'm not trying to be bleak, maybe just looking at the realities of life as we know it these days...

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