[This devotion is the third in a 5-part series entitled “Gospel in Action”.]
We celebrate Easter because Jesus Christ died for our sins and victoriously rose again. It is this gospel which gives us life. We have new life and eternal life because of Christ. But this also means we are called to die to our old life. This means we need to deny ourselves, our fleshly and sinful desires and follow Jesus. We have already seen that the gospel in action means spreading His Word. We shall now also see that it involves losing our lives and, specifically, for His sake. See, it is when we realize who Christ is and confess who He is, just as Peter did (8:27-30), that we can see our lives through the correct set of lens. This lens allows us to see that we now live for Christ. We see that Jesus is the Christ. He is God and worthy of our worship. Knowing that, we are called to deny ourselves and pick up our cross in following Him. It will not be easy and it will surely involve suffering. Yet, it is when we take that cross up and follow Him, we live a life of authentic joy, the abundant life. It is because we gain Him. Following Christ does not mean gaining the world or forfeiting our soul. On the contrary, it means forfeiting the ways of this world and being reconciled in your relationship with God. There will still be pain and suffering in life. But Christ surpasses all of that. He is the treasure. Christ has to be the focal point if we are to follow Him and live the gospel out. That means we have to be willing to lose our lives for the gospel. After all, Christ did give Himself for us.
- If Peter knew Jesus was the Christ, then why did he try and rebuke Him from going to the cross (8:27-30)? Do you tend to set your mind on the things of men or on the things of God? Think of an example.
- In what ways can you deny yourself in the manner of following Christ this week as you go about sharing the gospel?
- REFLECT AND PRAY: Are you really willing to lose your life for the sake of the gospel?