Reading the Gospel of Mark this week has me thinking and pondering and ever so thankful that we have the WORD of GOD to speak the TRUTH into our lives-mine in particular.
Yesterday I was reading in chapter 6 and Jesus tells His disciples to "Come away with Me, by yourselves to a quiet solitary place". We all need to do that -each and everyday. We need our time with Jesus. We need to hear His Words, His Truth. We need to get instructions on how to live this day. We need His love, and His Grace and His mercy and Forgiveness each day.
Fortunately for me, living kind of in the middle of nowhere, its easy to get away to a quiet solitary place. Every morning in the summer, I grab my coffee, my bible and journal and head outside to have my much needed time with Jesus. I have the most beautiful landscape to look at and I thank God for His Creation. But I NEED my time with Him. Because if I don't, I have the wrong perspective on life and what it really is all about. I can believe all sorts of the enemy's lies and half truths if I don't spend time with Jesus. We all Need His Truth ...everyday.
WHY? Because if you are anything like me (and lets hope you aren't), we get too me centered, worried about my life, dwelling on what I want. And then my view gets completely skewed (pretty sure that's not how its spelled). And I think its all about me. And its not. Its ALL ABOUT JESUS.
Then today I was reading in Mark 8 and read how Jesus told us to deny ourselves and pick up our cross and follow Him.
OK...lets just say...that is often VERY HARD to do. Denying ourselves is to quit thinking about our own selfish ways...to make room for Jesus...to let Him be first.
And taking up our cross?? well I know so much has been written about that. But for me, crosses come in so many forms: anything that makes me put others ahead of me, suffering, pain, heartache, loneliness, depression, watching ones we love suffer or go thru terrible things....TAKE UP YOUR CROSS. Wow JESUS, that is a tough one...and then FOLLOW ME, which I wrote about earlier this week. That too, can be a tough thing to do.
Why in the world would Jesus ask us to do such hard things?
Because HE wants us to look more like Him than ourselves. So that our lives will draw others to the ONE who loves them completely and unconditionally. And to draw those who know Him already, into a deeper relationship with Him.
I want to obey this command with everything that is within me, but OH how I need the Holy Spirit's help moment by moment.
Still striving and struggling to be the person Jesus envisions me to be.