pastorjohnb

Thoughts and musings on faith and our mighty God!

Narrow and Hard

2 Comments

Reading: Mark 8: 34-38

Verse 34: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me”.

Today’s passage is all about commitment, dedication, obedience, discipline, and, ultimately, transformation. This call to discipleship is hard. That is why Jesus said the way is narrow in Matthew 7. Faith is just like all other things of great value – it requires a great deal of effort to attain our goal.

Jesus begins today’s key verse with, “if anyone would come after me”. He is implying the first thing about faith is a choice. All people everywhere have a sense of God one way or another. Some sense a higher power, some sense God in the created world, some sense God in the “there must be more to life than this” feelings. Faith begins with the inner urge to live for and to connect to something bigger than ourselves. Beginning a relationship is the first step.

Next Jesus turns to those big words I opened with, saying, “he must deny himself”. Denying self and our own wants and desires is the beginning of living out our faith. When asked, Jesus said the two greatest commandments were to love God and to love others. When we truly do this, there is little room for self. In denying self, the transformation process also gets under way. The study and practice of our faith through prayer, worship, Bible study, … is what begins to transform our hearts and minds so that we begin to see and feel and think as Christ did.

Then Jesus turns to our calling. He next instructs us to “take up his cross”. As we are transformed more and more into His image, we come to discover that special blessing or talent or gift that God has given us to serve His will. Some teach, some preach, some feed, some clothe, some visit, some sing, some clean, some sew, some lead, some transport, some… The cross represents Jesus and our gift or talent is how we share Jesus with others. Our “cross” is what helps others to connect to Jesus.

Once we have been drawn into relationship, once we have been transformed to love God and others more than self, once we have found our niche in serving God, then and only then can we say we follow Jesus. May we all choose the hard and narrow way of Jesus today. It is through the Lord that we find the life truly worth living. Blessings on your journey.

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2 thoughts on “Narrow and Hard

  1. AMEN, MY FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST IS REAL, I TRUST IN HIM. MY DAUGHTER WHITE BLOOD COUNT DOWN 1.2 😦 SO AGAIN THEY COULD NOT GIVE HER THE CANCER TREATMENT. I PRAY FOR FOR HER NUMBERS TO GO UP. I ASK MYSELF , DOES JESUS WANT ME TO SEE SOMTHING IAM MISSING??? HE KNOW I LOVE HIM, HE KNOWS EVERYTHING. .I KNOW THAT HE CARES. BUT IM NOT SURE IF CHRIST IS TRYING TO SHOW ME SOMTHING. THROUGH PAIN WE GROW STRONGER, PRAYERS ARE MOST IMPORTANT, PLEASE PRAY FOR ME, FOR JESUS TO SPEAK TO MY HEART, WHAT IS IT DOES HE WANT ME TO SEE.. OR TO UNDERSTAND.. HE LIVES , HE SO POWEFULL , IM BLESSED HE LOVES ME AND I AM HIS. FOREVER WITH OUR LORD. AMEN

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