Monday, March 9, 2015

Message from Jim Callahan, High School Teacher

23 “And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. 25 For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?” Luke 9:23-25 ESV

I would like to call your attention to the cost of being a disciple of Jesus Christ. I trust that we have heard this before, but we all need to be reminded of this again and again. The cost is self-denial and cross bearing. I would like to focus our attention on self-denial. Normally, there is no theoretical problem with self-denial, we clearly know what it is; however there is an enormous practical problem here --- it is much, much easier said than done. Because we live in a sinful world, things often do not run smoothly. We experience major hardships resulting from people who forget stuff, break promises, lie, cheat, steal, do poor quality work, use and abuse others and simply do not love their neighbor as themselves. The sinful human heart often lusts for personal vengeance in hardship situations resulting from others having “done us dirty.” An important aspect of self-denial in these types of situations is turning over vengeance to the Lord and nailing to the cross the resentment and hostility that goes alone with pay back desires. As individuals, we are not to return evil for evil. May God by His grace enable us to deny ourselves in these types of hardship situations.   

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