Sunday, March 11, 2018

Lent - Mar 12 - Matthew 16:24

J e n n i f e r   N i c k s

Matthew 16:24

Then Jesus told his disciples,

“If anyone would come after me,

let him deny himself and

take up his cross and follow me.


I am nearsighted, so I need to wear glasses. Today at the hair salon, I walked into a room and sat down under a hair dryer. A woman - who I thought was a stranger - joyfully said, “Hello Jennifer!” I didn’t realize who she was because I had removed my glasses. What a wonderful surprise to find a friend, instead of a stranger!


Our loving Father knows us, knows that we have nearsighted vision. He ministers to us with this verse by showing us a way to have enhanced vision for our intended direction. He says if we want to be His follower, we must turn from our selfish ways. What that means is fully surrendering our will to Him. Trusting as Jesus did when He prayed “I want Your will to be done, not mine.” (Luke 22:42)


Knowing that what He says is true: if I give up my life for His sake, I will find TRUE life (v.25)! So, it’s really okay to let go, and let Him take over.


In verse 22, when Peter heard that Jesus would suffer and die on a cross, He reprimanded Jesus. “Heaven forbid, Lord. This will never happen to you!” Jesus immediately set him straight saying, “You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, and not from God’s.” The very thing that Peter was reprimanding is a symbol of what our lives will look towards. We will take up our crosses DAILY and follow Him (Luke 9:23-24).


Life will often look bad from a human point of view. Oh, we long for a better view! Yes, Jesus would suffer and die on a cross, BUT He would be resurrected from an abused, injured, lifeless body to a bursting, bright, new life! What a wonderful surprise! In 2 Corinthians 4:18 it says, “So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen.”


What do we fix our eyes on? What wonderful surprises are we missing? What things are we actually intended to see in life?


By someone who needs to wear her pair of God-point-of-view glasses so she can see wonderful surprises,


Jennifer Gayle Nicks

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