Saturday, August 7, 2010

Denying Ourselves

“When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.” NKJV Mark 8:34-35
Life Lesson: Loving God and loving people – leaves no room for our self.
There is a whole lot of ‘self’ going on in the world today. “What is in it for me” is a question we ask ourselves more often than we realize or would ever probably admit. The world media today would have us believe that to make a real impact on this world; we need to take care of ourselves first. It is selfishness justified with a loss of cabin pressure mentality. What is that you ask? You know how aircraft stewards will announce that in the case of a loss of cabin pressure an oxygen mask will drop from the ceiling. What do they tell you next? They tell you to place the mask on yourself before helping anyone else…including your own children! That is the mentality that we tend to have in life. If I do not help myself first, how can I help others? “I need to win the lottery so that I can give to someone else.” “I would be glad to help except the NCAA Championship is on TV.” “Sorry, that’s my dinner time.” What self-serving excuses do you make to avoid sacrifice? That mentality is so not Jesus.
Jesus says we are to lay down our lives, actually denying ourselves, in order that we may place others first. Jesus told us to take up our cross, knowing full well that His cross was a literal instrument of sacrifice…the means by which He would give His own life for you. I will bet that championship game seems less significant in light of His sacrifice. Loving God and loving people leaves no room for self.

Dear Jesus,
Thank You for loving me. Thank You for dying for me. I want to live as Your vessel to share the Gospel to others. Lord, I have been selfish with my time. Help me to deny myself and place the needs of others first. Allow me the opportunity to make a ‘missional’ impact on the lives of others and the world around me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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