True Life - True Self
29 April 2017
Reading: 2 Samuel 4-5; Psalm 139; Matthew 16
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. 25 If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for me, you will find true life. 26 And how do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul in the process? Is anything worth more than your soul?” (Matthew 16:24-26 NLT)
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!” Peter had revelation received from God’s Spirit, mixed with 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, and yet so dangerous, to let that slip. I find myself thinking about 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 that Jesus’ part in the plan is to provide all the stuff to make it work comfortably and smoothly.
My true self, the new 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 sometimes, 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.
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 to live my true life out of my true self and daily embrace the way of the Christ. Amen.