Several months ago a friend introduced me to a daily Scripture Writing Challenge. I had no idea how enriching and edifying the practice of Scripture writing would be. I did not realize how much writing the verses would strengthen, not only my engagement with the words, but it would also ignite a deeper understanding of the words that I wrote. It became an evening habit that was the best “night cap” to my day! No matter how great or challenging my day was, when I wrote the verses, my spirit was lifted, and my hope awakened! This month, I will be sharing my Scripture Writing and insights here with you.
Today’s writing is from Matthew 16:24-28. The verse that stood out most to me was verse 24,
Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow Me’
When I read the words, “You must turn from your selfish ways,” it was like they jumped off of the page. Something inside of me came alive because even though I have read these words over and over again throughout my life, today I realized they were not just words, but a Call to Action. I realized that I must deliberately turn away from my personal practices that are more focused on serving myself, rather than serving God! This is a decison that has to be chosen daily.
As I wrote and considered the remainder of the passage, I discovered the following:
I. Being a follower of Jesus Christ requires that I constantly evaluate my life, determining what things, habits, mindsets, and even relationships I need to surrender, so that I can follow Him fully.
II. “Selfish Ways” are distractions, they keep me from being able to see Jesus’ pure intentions for my life. His intentions for me are to give me an “abundant life.”
[Jesus said], A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of. – John 10:10 (The Message Bible)
Jesus came to earth, so that I would have a life beyond my greatest dreams, but I cannot experience the life He intends for me, while stubbornly holding onto self-serving things. Things that make me comfortable, but don’t cause me to grow, things that provide temporary satisfaction, but don’t lead to eternal life! I must humbly submit my selfish ways in exchange for God’s perfect Will for my life.
III. I cannot hold onto my life, and receive the life Jesus has for me (v.25). I cannot have both, and God will not force me, so I must choose to surrender my life for the sake of Christ, and in doing so, I will gain the life He has for me.
IV. Nothing is more important than my soul (v. 26). When I truly realize this, I will focus on those things that bring eternal value to my life, instead of those things that only temporarily satisfy.
I pray these words for myself and for all who will read this post, Thank you for Your Perfect will for our lives. You came to earth to give us a life beyond our dreams! Help us to surrender daily, so that we will make the decision to rid ourselves of the distractions of selfish ways, in order to follow You fully. Help us to live for Eternity, help us to mindfully make decisions for our lives that position us for standing before You, and hearing you say, “Well Done.” We receive your all-sufficient grace that empowers us to do WITH Your power, those things that we could never do alone. We want to please you in all things, and we receive Your Help. Make us better, stronger, and wiser.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Here is the Scripture Writing Plan I will be following for this month.
Let me know in comments if you are planning to join in, so that we can encourage one another!
Until Next Time, Keep your Hope Living