Today’s Reading: Matthew 16
I tend to have a competitive spirit when it comes to sports, games, or just about any activity. At times this desire to win can get in the way of what truly is important and the understanding of who is really winning. When I was growing up we didn’t have much so this yearning to win I imagine came from my own complex to feel the need to prove myself all the time to appear “normal”. It could also act as a temporary fix for an internal fear of failure and a want to avoid the current situation. Where I was feeling like I was winning, I was actually losing, lying to myself, others, and denying Gods call to control my life.
As we read through Matthew 16 we close out on Jesus telling his disciples to deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow Him. I’ve written about this before after reading Luke 9 in Lose Yourself. If you have a chance look back at some of the questions posed there. Today, I’m reminded about the change that we all pursue to cause us to grow in the Lord. That when we decide to say Yes to ourselves, we say No to Christ. If we say No to ourselves, we say Yes to Christ. Throughout our day, what are the ways to forget ourselves and our desires, and search, listen, and follow Jesus’s example.The first thing I pray for is for the recognition of more than surface level approach to others and to truly think of others first. I need to avoid superficial situations that don’t represent God’s heart and prayerfully submit to God’s will and not my selfish desires to look past a situation. To listen, serve, and share God where you can. If not by words, our actions can speak volumes. Here are a few pointers you can think of for today.
Self-denial – try not to do things only for me – Revelation 12:11 They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.
Stop trying to run “my” life – what am I putting in my body and mind? 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
Remind myself that I don’t belong to me – submit my day to God each morning- Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Champion God’s will in everything today. Unselfishly serve others. Happily Lose!
24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?
Do you want to find yourself? Do you want to be who you ought to be? It’s not easy and its a constant work in progress. But, let’s try to lose ourselves and grow in the dedication of our life for Christ.