Not An Easy Ride
Heavenly Father, I’m thankful for the privilege of coming to You in prayer and knowing that You listen to me.
Read LUKE 9:18-27
 Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say I am?”  They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life.”  “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “God’s Messiah.”  Jesus strictly warned them not to tell this to anyone.  And he said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.”  Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.  For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.  What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?  Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.  “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.” Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat surprising, challenging things did Jesus say here?
“Where are we now?” is a great question to ask when people are learning new things. It allows them to say what they think without leading them. That’s what Jesus asked the disciples (18); they had clearly begun to make a connection between what they saw, what they heard (19) and what they knew of Old Testament prophecy. Peter probably expected praise for working out that Jesus is God’s Son (20). Instead, he gets the truth that it’s not an easy ride (22).
Can you imagine a society where denying ourselves and putting others first is the norm (23)? A relationship with Jesus seems to be absolutely the reverse of society’s materialistic, selfish culture. Research from Stanford University shows that without a contribution beyond themselves, people have no purpose in life. So science and faith agree on this one. Yet how often is our first question, “How does this affect me?”
What is your purpose in life? How does your life reflect the reverse of our society’s culture?
Lord, help me to put You first every day. May Your Kingdom come in the places where I live and work.
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