Jesus makes a straightforward statement we need to keep in mind daily. Fundamental Christians are standing out now days just like the moon is tonight and the darker it gets outside the more the moon shines. Don’t let down. If you are called on to choose sides, choose the right one.
Mark 8: 34 And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 35 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. 36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? 37 Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.
You can feel the seriousness of this. From the verses right before this we see the mindset of Jesus. He said he would suffer and be rejected by the elders. The nation was infiltrated by other cultures. Many in authority were not Jews. They made a joke of Jesus. Doesn’t that sound familiar in our own day? The common and decent people are put down. Christianity is put down while religions of any kind are accepted. The pressure is on. Without notice or warning you can be put on the spot. It may be by a co-worker or a stranger at the grocery store.
Jesus said we have to deny ourselves. If Peter had denied himself he wouldn’t have denied Jesus three times. It made the disciples run and Peter follow afar off. We don’t have to hold signs and protest. Jesus said we’re not to cast pearls before swine. He’s telling us not to use Satan’s tactics. Don’t fight fire with fire. We should be able to show who we are by how we live. Jesus has made us better. He wants us to be the kind of Christians we should be. Make your stand not by how loud you holler but by how right you live. Decide to walk with the Master.
Mark got pulled right out of his garment as he ran in the garden. When we go through trials, do we get pulled out of our Christian “garment” and run? Just live how God wants with the convictions of the Bible intact. We turned to the Lord when we got saved by denying ourselves. We found that was better! Keep a clear mind now. Don’t get confused by the tactics of the world. Paul was in prison for confessing Jesus Christ as Savior. He told about the death of Jesus and his resurrection; that was his crime. He was glad to be a prisoner of Jesus Christ.
We can be embarrassed or hang our head. We can try to change the subject. We need to just be what God made us when he saved us. Be what you are in him! We used to think we were pretty good until God showed us who we were without him and that we were on our way to hell. He made us somebody and we still are in the Lord. You are a redeemed child of God! It still makes the hair on my arms stand up to think about what God has done for me. Let the Lord speak through you. Let’s be a living protest to sin by our character, our conversation, and the responses we give. That speaks volumes to others. We are the sign of Jesus Christ. “Onward Christian soldiers marching as to war with the cross of Jesus going on before.”
If we confess Jesus before men, when we get to heaven he will confess us before the Father. When the tables are turned on us, what counts is how ashamed we’ve been of Jesus or how faithful we’ve been. Never conceal your identity in Jesus Christ. There is no cause, no amount of money that is comparable to what we have in our heart. When the end comes I want to know in my heart that I’ve done my best! What about you?