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. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?”
Give up your life and you will find it. It doesn’t say life is found by chasing everything you want and trying to make it perfect and you feeling great a hundred percent of the time and being well-liked and having everyday as you want it to be.
Give up your life. Give it up? Whaaat the? God, are you trying to be funny? I’ve worked hard to be here. I’ve got these friends, everything seems to be working out kind of nicely right now—
Have you ever noticed that, when something works out exactly like you wanted it to but… there isn’t that joy you expected there would be? And you’re like, um, okay?
Joy comes from God. In God. With God.
I made this little list this morning.
· -- That kid standing alone by themselves? Ask one of your friends if they want to go talk to them with you – or just go by yourself.
· -- Say the Truth no matter who is there
· -- Always treat everyone with dignity, even if their presence isn’t too pleasing or significant to you
· -- Know that I’m not better than anyone else
· -- Don’t hate; pray
· -- Obey those little nudges from God despite being afraid of what people will think, or fear of not being able to really do it properly
After all – God glorifies Himself in our weakness. “When I am weak, then I am strong.”
Maybe we could wake up and see this: we have nothing, despite what we think; only Christ. At the end of the day, we will still have Christ. And since He is what is, let’s obey Him. He will give us joy.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.”
If we take to heart this commandment in our lives, we will find ours elves living the second:
“Love your neighbour as you love yourself.”
“I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”
And that, is loving Him.
[pictures from a trip into the city.]