Peter Confesses That Jesus is the Christ

It was Timothy McVeigh who thought of himself first. On his own, he decided that he had the right to plant a bomb at a government building in Oklahoma City. That act took the lives of many people, including a number of children whom McVeigh callously described as collateral dam … More

Selfishness

Jesus wants the Christian to go beyond knowing what others believe by making their faith personal (vv. 18-20). He then predicts his death for the first time (vv. 21-22). He goes on to say to them all, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me” (v. 23). Taking up our cross may not be a very pleasant thought, but it is a very necessary one. I think that in America the church has often changed the expression, “take up your CROSS and follow Christ,” to “take up your CAUSE and follow Christ.” Self, self-interest, self-seeking, and self-love are not viewed as a great evil, but instead have become the great mandate, to be placed higher in priority than the commands of the Bible to love God and to love our neighbor. Jesus is telling us that Living is about Dying (vv. 23-24). Jesus is speaking to each of us, and telling us what every true follower must do. If we are ashamed of the Lord and His message, the Son of Man will be ashamed of us when he comes in his glory and in the glory of his Father and the holy angels (vv. 25-27).

The Lord’s Prayer contains that wonderful phrase that calls us to live a life that is not self-centered, but God centered. “Thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven.” The self-centered life makes us think that we are the most important thing in the universe - but we’re not. The self-centered life prevents us from understanding the needs of others. And yet, our very nature causes us to be self-centered rather than God centered. Would you, like Jesus, have carried the burden of that cross? Probably not. Most of us do not pray with sincerity, “Thy will be done.” We think in terms of “not THY will, but MY will be done.”

Application

We pray that God’s will would be done, but we live our lives praying that OUR will would be done. I really want to quit praying like this and truly mean it when I say, “May your will be done.”

Luke 9:18-27 (English Standard Version)


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