They were now on the way up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them. The disciples were filled with awe, and the people following behind were overwhelmed with fear. Taking the twelve disciples aside, Jesus once more began to describe everything that was about to happen to him. “Listen,” he said, “we’re going up to Jerusalem, where the Son of Man will be betrayed to the leading priests and the teachers of religious law. They will sentence him to die and hand him over to the Romans. They will mock him, spit on him, flog him with a whip, and kill him, but after three days he will rise again.” Mark 10:32-34
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
Could you imagine someone saying to you before you were a believer, “Come and follow Jesus with me. It will be amazing. We will be sentenced to die and handed over to those who will execute us. They will mock us, spit on us, flog us with a whip, kill us, and someday we will be resurrected.” Not so appealing, is it? But with a bigger and better perspective, we would be able to follow Jesus Christ whole heartedly, even knowing it could include such drastic prospects.
It is paramount that we keep keenly aware that God is our Maker and that as our Maker, He has absolute claim to us. It only makes sense that the one who makes something ought to have full possession of that which he has made and should have it entirely and continually to use for his purposes and desires. The problem of the ages is that man goes his own way and does his own thing. The forgiveness of sins accomplished by Jesus on the Cross was something that was done first and foremost for God’s sake and then secondarily for our sake. God wants to reclaim that which is His for the purposes for which He created us in the first place. The Cross is the means that God uses to bring us back under His sovereign rule and authority.
We are so oriented to ourselves that we look at the cross primarily for all the benefits it brings to us: forgiveness, cleansing, a relationship with God, God’s loving care, deliverance from hell, eternity in Heaven, etc. While these are gracious provisions of God for us as His wayward creation, our primary focus must be that we have been bought back by our Creator for Him to do with us whatever He wants. When God is able to do the work in us of reorienting us to existing for Him rather than Him existing for us, a whole new world opens up, a world where, with Jesus Christ the King ruling our hearts and lives, we would be willing to follow fully in his footsteps. This is the focus of this week’s Devotionals.
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, I want to follow in your footsteps. I realize I have barely scratched the surface of knowing what that means. Please teach me and train me to walk squarely and surely on the path on which you are leading me. Help me to get past myself more than ever before. Grant the bigger and better perspective I need for living fully for you. Amen!
Posted on Mon, January 23, 2017
by Ken Hart