It's not what I have[.] It's what I have to give. A blog about resources--gaining, giving, and sharing.

21 January 2011

Following Jesus Requires Sacrifice – pt. 4

11:33 AM Posted by steve flores , , No comments
Since this is the fourth post of a series of seven, I figured I'd add the links to the previous three.  Hopefully it will help to make it a more cohesive, continuous read. 

[Matthew 16:21-26] Whoa!  Jesus called Peter Satan!  This was such an insult and sounded a little harsh to me.  Jesus wanted to emphasize the biggest mistake Peter was making and many of us make today, I spend more time thinking like ME and less time thinking like Him.  When we think about ourselves more than Jesus, it affects how we live.  We end up having a different agenda than His, ours.  Jesus is pretty clear when we have a different agenda than His, Matthew 12:30, “Whoever is not with me is against me.”  Who else is actively against Jesus?  Satan.  It makes sense to me now why Jesus would call Peter Satan.  When we think more about us and less about Him, we look at things differently, especially when it comes to sacrifice.  Sacrifice becomes crazy, not normal.  “There’s no way Jesus would want me to do without.  He wants me to be rich, successful, have nice clothes, never have a bad day, every door of opportunity to open my way, to have everyone like me.” Think about this for just a moment.  Is that REALLY what Jesus wants?  Is that REALLY why Jesus died on the cross?  So that YOU could be satisfied?  It sounds harsh I know, but we’ve really messed this sacrifice thing up over the years.  Sacrifice is not about us; it’s about who we are sacrificing for!
·         I give up so that someone else could have = genuine sacrifice.
·         I give up so that you could notice and give me what I gave up = selfishness.
·         Jesus gave up His life so that we can have a relationship with the Father = genuine sacrifice.

Sacrifice is not about us; it's never been.  Sacrifice is about others.  That is the point!  That’s what Jesus was about.  And here is the point that Jesus was trying to make, verses 24-25, 

Then Jesus told his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

That’s pretty heavy stuff to take in, so we'll take it bit by bit… (to be continued…)