Thursday, April 14, 2011

God Has A Plan - Lenten Bible Readings

Jesus knew that God's plans for him were not pretty.

Mark 8:31-38  Then Jesus began to tell them that the Son of Man must suffer many terrible things and be rejected by the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but three days later he would rise from the dead.

32 As he talked about this openly with his disciples, Peter took him aside and began to reprimand him for saying such things.

33 Jesus turned around and looked at his disciples, then reprimanded Peter. “Get away from me, Satan!” he said. “You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.”

34 Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. 35 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it. 36 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? 37 Is anything worth more than your soul? 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

God's plan for Jesus was in motion, it wasn't a pretty plan, just look at Peter's reaction to hearing about it. Jesus was probably Peter's best friend and Peter couldn't stand to think about the things that Jesus said would happen to him. Jesus was going to "suffer many terrible things" for my benefit.

God's plan for us isn't a pretty one either, it is very much against our human nature, but it is still the best plan that there is. God's plan says that we must turn from selfishness, take up our cross and follow him. The trouble that we have is that the battle with selfishness is difficult enough in our culture and few of us get around to picking up the cross and following him. 

The world is looking for a return on everything that it does, there aren't very many that consider doing something that has zero benefits, but Jesus said that it didn't matter if we gained everything that the world has to offer if we lose what is priceless. Our soul is way more important that anything that the world has to offer.

I want to follow you each day Lord and be in the center of your will, I want to follow the plans that you have for me. Thank you for loving me enough to die in my place.