Day 16 | Kingdom LifePosted on January 25th, 2012.
Luke 9:18-26 (NKJV)
And it happened, as He was alone praying, that His disciples joined Him, and He asked them, saying, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” So they answered and said, “John the Baptist, but some say Elijah; and others say that one of the old prophets has risen again.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered and said, “The Christ of God.” And He strictly warned and commanded them to tell this to no one, saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.” Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels.
Jesus spent massive amounts of time in prayer. Prayer strengthened Him. It gave Him focus and direction. It kept Him grounded on what was truly important. Prayer is empowering. Jesus was keenly aware of who he was and what he had to do. That seems like an obvious statement, but it’s not. It’s hard to see yourself as God sees you. It’s even harder to understand God’s purpose & divine will. Yet, Jesus knew & he was testing to see who else knew. “What do the crowds say?” He asked. In other words, “give me the word on the streets.” He then asked, “Who do you say that I am?” There was only one unanimous answer, “The Christ (Messiah) of God.” See, Jesus realized that His position called for Him to experience great suffering, rejection and murder. Yet, He embraced it because he understood the profitable relationship position that the servant of God maintained. Jesus was so highly exalted that not even death could hold Him and, because we are in covenant with him, these worldly elements cannot hold us either. What is fear but a yet to be defeated foe overcome by faith. Doubt cannot stand in the presence of vision & understanding and cowardice gives way to courage. You are walking with God on a great path. Stay on it. It calls for self-denial, embracing purpose & submission to Jesus, a decision you have already made. Remember, the greatest successes in this world cannot compare to even the least position in the kingdom. Father’s desire is for you to know him in a deeper, more personal way. Stay close to Jesus & be bold in life.
Now, this may sound crazy but I’m sure Jesus saying he would rise from the dead was a little hard to believe as well. So here it is: Get in front of a mirror and look yourself in the eyes. Tell that person you see, “Hey, I remind you that I love God. I will serve Jesus every moment of my life, in good times and in bad times. Show me the will for my life, Lord. I will follow.”