This is an urgent reminder to anyone who considers themselves a believer. I was reminded of something, through a dream, that I believe God is pressing on me to share.
Please Go and read Matthew 16:21-27.
In the text, it speaks of how Jesus was telling his disciples that he must suffer to eventually be killed. Because Peter’s emotions and own personal ambitions got in the way, he told Jesus that those things would never happen to him.
Jesus rebukes Satan, who is using Peter and even calls him a stumbling block. Jesus then tells them that whoever wants to be his disciple must deny themselves, take up their cross and follow him.
I believe God wants to remind believers that before the Kingdom of God is revealed clearly at final judgement, It should NOW be presented through his people.
My question to you is, If you are a resident of the Kingdom, how are you representing it NOW?
Let’s look into these 3 things.
Deny Yourself– This means you must surrender your personal ambitions to God and surrender to his will. Even Jesus asked our Father if the cross was the only way. Jesus knew the cross was a painful and tortuous death. Ultimately He knew It was the will of our Father. Therefore, he had to set aside what he wanted to do our Father’s will.
Take up your cross– This does not mean you pick up or try and carry burdens. If you do, you’ll feel like you’re carrying the weight of the world. This is your devotion to die to yourself and to live for God…no matter the cost. As stated before, the cross meant a painful death to the people of Jesus’ time. It’s painful to give up things that satisfy our flesh, but WE SHOULD NOT BE COMFORTABLE IN OUR SIN. GOD IS CALLING US OUT OF IT. REPENTANCE MEANS TO TURN AWAY COMPLETELY. GOD CALLS FOR REPENTANCE. Please get this…it’s so imperative. For example, I struggle with food. Gluttony is a sin. When I over eat, I feel convicted. I shouldn’t continue grieving the Holy Spirit by the way that I live. Therefore, I work to turn away from it.
Follow Christ– This is the personal allegiance to a call, commitment. It can be thought of as the ongoing cost. People think because I am a certain way because it’s easy for me to be this way. I say, you’re highly mistaken. I strive to love my neighbor even when they aren’t so lovable. Not for my own sake, but out of my love for Christ. I take time to check on people and listen to them…not because I always feel like it, but because it is a responsibility that I believe God gave me.
So, today, this is a strong reminder. God’s righteous judgement is near. It will come when we least expect it. DON’T BE A STUMBLING BLOCK TO OTHERS BY THE WAY THAT YOU LIVE. In Leviticus, it states not to put a block in front of a blind person. Can you imagine doing that…how cruel! But it’s exactly the same when you live your life any kind of way before others who are blind to the faith or who are babes in Christ.
This is serious and God truly needs us to be the hands and feet until he returns.