From then on, Jesus began telling his disciples what would happen to him. He said, â€œI must go to Jerusalem. There the nationâ€™s leaders, the chief priests, and the teachers of the Law of Moses will make me suffer terribly. I will be killed, but three days later I will rise to life.â€
â€œIf any of you want to be my followers, you must forget about yourself. You must take up your cross and follow me.25 If you want to save your life, you will destroy it. But if you give up your life for me, you will find it. 26 What will you gain, if you own the whole world but destroy yourself? What would you give to get back your soul?
27 The Son of Man will soon come in the glory of his Father and with his angels to reward all people for what they have done. 28 I promise you that some of those standing here will not die before they see the Son of Man coming with his kingdom.â€ Â Â Â Â Matthew 16:21-28 (CEV)
I was reminded again this week about this passage and another in John 4 where Jesus tells the Samaritan woman that the true worship of God will not happen in a big temple like Jerusalem’s or even on a grand mountain but that the worship of God will happen in our hearts and with our spirits wherever we happen to be. So why do we keep building and maintaining HUGE temples?
Is it our egos that want to show others how much we love God? Are we attempting to show God the perfection of our love for Him?
Jesus said that we should not be like the Pharisees who loudly proclaim their love for God and then treat people with judgment and contempt (Matthew 23). Jesus encouraged us to spend time in our prayer closets privately and give freely, never letting others know of our generosity (Matthew 6).
I am spending a lot of quiet time with Jesus this week. My heart is bruised as I say, â€œGood-bye for nowâ€ to those who have died and moved on to their promised eternal home. Jesus has faithfully and lovingly held me and comforted me. Is there any more precious a gift than Jesus, Messiah and Savior right here with His arms around me and His healing balm soothing and restoring me? Is there any more precious a gift than I can give back than my love in words of praise and thanksgiving? Maybe encourage others to do the same?
You may be reading this at work or on your lunch break. Time and location may limit your actions but nothing can limit what comes from your heart, spirit to Spirit.
Jesus, You are faithful. When I stumble, You are there to pick me up, hold me and heal me. There is no darkness with You here. There is no storm that You can not calm. Thank You for saving me. Thank You for loving me. Thank You for being my Savior and Friend. I love You so very much. In Your name I pray. Amen.
Give Me Jesus written by Fernando Ortega and sung by Vince Gill