Deny Myself? – A Biblical Message Not So Well-liked Today

Many of today’s Christians don’t like it when a sermon based on Mt.16:24-27 is preached. We prefer the comforting stuff such as “for God soooo loved the world, that He GAVE…” wrongly interpreting the word “so” (Greek: houtos) to mean the extent of God’s love when it actually means “thus, in this way”. Jn.3:16 should therefore be translated “for God loved the world this way – that He gave His only begotten son…..”. Mt.16:24-27 speaks of denying ourselves of what we want, desire and love and instead embracing what God wants, desires and loves. It warns us of the consequence of being self-indulgent and having a form of Christianity that is focused in ME – how much God loves ME, wants to bless ME, etc. Following Christ is never about serving our needs but serving God’s Kingdom purposes and the needs of others. And in so doing, God meets our needs. Have a great day!

“Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭16:24-27‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Good or God?

Good or God? (my reflection inspired by John Bevere’s sermon of the same title)

“And Peter took him (Jesus) aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.”” Matthew‬ ‭16:22‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Mt.16:22 was Peter’s reaction when Jesus spoke about his impending suffering, death and subsequent resurrection. In Peter’s mind, suffering and death can’t be good! Surely God wouldn’t allow us to go through that! Surely God wants us to have the good things in life – strength, pleasure and comfort must be the marks of a believer and weakness, pain and suffering can’t be good – Peter must have thought. Jesus’ reply in v.23 must have shocked Peter – “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” Jesus saw that such a way of thinking was first of all satanic; second, such a belief was a hindrance to Jesus; and third, it was worldly and not of God! Clearly, not everything that is good in our opinion is of God.