Sheep and Goats (2)

So here’s a text that’s easy to understand:

And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.  For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?  For what can a man give in return for his soul?  For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”  – Mark 8:34-38

Easy, right?  Ok, maybe not.

If you want to follow, you must deny yourself.  How long could we spend on that?  Deny myself?  Just say no!  It’s much easier said than done.  Yet that’s how Jesus defined discipleship.  And not only did he define verbally, He lived it out!  You and I could be the most religious people in the world (Pharisees anyone?), do good things, etc., yet forfeit our souls because we’ve missed the whole point.

Golden calf

Idolatry was rampant in the Old Testament.  They made things to worship (e.g Ex 32).

Idolatry was part of life in the New Testament.  They were religious but worshipped idols (e.g. Acts 17).

Idolatry is popular today.  I like my stuff.  In fact, I AM my “stuff.”  And it’s only in destroying the “stuff” that we become genuine disciples.

Push back!

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2 Responses to “Sheep and Goats (2)”

  1. …Fake nails, the latest and greatest brand name stuff, my time, my money, my recreation… My Life.

    I heard someone say “have you noticed we only give from our leftovers?” ME comes before anything else. Even in our relationships. That really convicted me. If I think about how I spend ever breath of my life – I always come out at the end of the day being selfish.

    But you say giving and doing good does not define discipleship.

    “Destroying the stuff” does. What does that look like? The stuff in my heart? My intentions in my giving and doing? God knows my heart in the things I do.

    I’m fearful of into the goat category …

    • Doing good and giving doesn’t define discipleship in and of itself. In other words, people go through the motions all of the time. That doesn’t mean their heart is right. People can give. But are they cheerful givers? How many do we know who attend church because “it’s the right thing to do”? How many cook meals for others because they’ve been asked but their heart isn’t in it? I hope that helps.

      I like that you’re thinking.

      I don’t think of you as a goat. 🙂

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