34 Jesus called the crowd to him along with his disciples. He said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must say no to themselves. They must pick up their cross and follow me. 35 Whoever wants to save their life will lose it. But whoever loses their life for me and for the good news will save it. 36 What good is it if someone gains the whole world but loses their soul? 37 Or what can anyone trade for their soul? 38 Suppose anyone is ashamed of me and my words among these adulterous and sinful people. Then the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.” 9 Jesus said to them, “What I’m about to tell you is true. Some who are standing here will not die before they see that God’s kingdom has come with power.”
This is probably one of the most challenging passages in the Bible for me, and I am sure for others too. When I read it with deep consideration, the conviction is strong.
What does it mean to deny oneself and take up the cross?
What does it mean to “lose your life for Jesus and for the gospel?”
What does “being ashamed of Jesus and his words” look like?”
I am afraid to admit that I have failed in all three accounts, during times in my life. I have put myself before Christ, and therefore have not denied myself. I have not been in a position where I could lose my life for the sake of the gospel, but I have been in a position where I could be outcast or ridiculed by friends or colleagues?
There are times when I have not spoken up to proclaim the gospel, and this sadly, can be due to fear, which is a form of shame. Fear of man more than fear of God.
What an awful thought to imagine the Son of Man being ashamed of me, when he arrives in his Father’s glory! I certainly do not want that.
And so my prayer this morning, Father, is that you will forgive me for the times I have not put you in the forefront of my life, and that I have expressed shame by my actions or inactions. Help me to be stronger and more faithful in You, and to be prepared to lay down all of my life for you, even to the point of losing my life. Amen.
Written by Steve Fell