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Calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for?

Source: Mark 8:34-37 (The Message)

Jesus is ushering in the Kingdom (aka country) of God. In the Kingdom, things are different. The Kingdom is all about the new contract Jesus has with us. One of the things that is different is the Jesus makes it clear that following him will be difficult. Don’t think so? Just ask the rich young ruler or the man who wanted a little time to go bury his father.

What is the way? Jesus makes it clear to me that I am not to look out for my own interests, I am to sacrifice my self for the goals of Jesus. It isn’t about me. Tough to hear because left to my own devices, it is all about me.

Whose way will it be? It runs counter to our culture but my focus has to be on Jesus and what Jesus wants me to do. Jesus is in charge (He is the King) and he hasn’t been elected or can’t be voted out of office. I can’t just wait Him out. Jesus sits at the right hand of God ruling and in authority. It’s always going to be that way. That is my starting point today.

How will I save myself? Jesus challenges me to know that I shouldn’t worry. Just focus on God and God is going to take care of me. Faith is the key. Worry is not. If I’m last, I will be first in his world.

What is “my true self” all about? My true self is my “Jesus-self”. Who am I in Jesus? A child of God? Yes, and more.

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