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True Self

True Self

29 April 2010

Today’s Reading: 2 Samuel 4-5; Psalm 139; Matthew 16

Scripture:

24 Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. 25 Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. 26 What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for? (Matthew 16:24-26 MSG)

Peter got it and then nearly lost it all in the space of a few minutes. He got it that Jesus was “the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” He got that right. Then Jesus began to talk about what that really meant in terms of suffering, sacrifice, and who’s really in charge, and Peter said, “Never gonna happen, Boss!” Revelation received from God’s Spirit and personal opinion prompted by self-will and Satan. I think Peter was as mixed-up as I sometimes am!

Being a follower of Jesus is exactly that – being a follower! He leads, I follow. It’s so easy yet so dangerous to let that slip. I find myself thinking about what I want and what I want to do and where I want to go and what I want the substance of my life to be. My old self, my false self, what Paul calls “the carnal nature,” knows what it wants and figures Jesus’ part in the plan is to provide all the stuff to make it work comfortably and smoothly.

My true self, the self formed by the union of who I am and who Christ is realizes that Jesus Christ is both savior and master, servant and king, discipler and comforter, friend and boss. I know that following him, letting him really lead, means joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain, weakness and strength, green valleys and dark canyons, more of him and less of me.

I embrace the life of following Jesus Christ. I know I’ll still whine and complain and ask for the easy way through a lot of the time, but I’m in for life. If you know what I mean! After all, it’d be tragic to get everything I want but lose the self he created me to be.

Prayer:

Father, I believe Jesus Christ is the Messiah, the Son of the living God. I believe that he is the leader and I am the follower. I re-commit to that relationship. Help me live out of my true self and daily embrace the way of the Christ. Amen.

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