Saturday, March 7,2015

Mark 8:31-38 (ESV)

31 And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 And he said this plainly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”

34 And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 35 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? 37 For what can a man give in return for his soul? 38 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

Peter loved Jesus, but he couldn’t accept that Jesus would suffer and be rejected and killed. Peter likely could not get his head around Jesus rising again three days later. What in the world could that mean? But that was precisely Peter’s problem: he had set his mind on the things of the world and not on the things of God. It is a constant battle that we as believers face each and every day. We are inundated with worldly messages through television shows, movies, songs, advertisements, news reports, magazines, Facebook, Twitter… the list goes on and on. We must be intentional about seeking out the truth found in Jesus Christ by practicing spiritual disciplines such as studying God’s word, prayer, fasting, worship, simplicity, service, confession, submission… again, the list goes on and on. The opportunities to seek out God are endless, but we must choose to do so and we must take action.

I invite you this Lent to choose to seek the Lord your God, to put aside a television show, news program or Facebook and spend that time drawing closer to God. Set your mind on the things of God rather than the things of man. Enhance a current spiritual discipline or start a new one and see the blessing the Lord pours upon you as you draw close to Him.

Heavenly Father, show us who You are. Turn our minds away from worldly thoughts and actions and conform us to the heart and mind of Your precious Son Jesus. Use this season of Lent to transform us, that we may discern Your will, what is good and pleasing and perfect, and then use us, I pray, to bring others to Your glorious kingdom through the message of Your gospel, our Lord Jesus Christ.