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Die to Self…Again

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I was reading in Mark chapter nine this week and I have been doing some study on James the brother of John.  So, the passage found in Mark dealing with the power struggle amongst the disciples (Mk 9:33-37) was already on my mind.  But, it’s Jesus’ response that hit me and has had me thinking.

I love how Peterson puts it in the Message;   "Everyone's going through a refining fire sooner or later, but you'll be well-preserved, protected from the eternal flames. Be preservatives yourselves. Preserve the peace." Mark 9:49-50

Could it be that the problem with the disciples was that they were too concerned about themselves and who was considered more important in Jesus’ eyes.  I mean think about it – here they were walking and talking with the Savior – God’s Son – and at the same time arguing with each other over who was more important in their little band of brothers.  It’s crazy.  And yet, it still happens all the time in my life.  I have to consistently “die to self” and refocus on Christ.

I believe this is one of the biggest problems in the Christian church today.  Far to many followers of Christ have lost focus on Jesus and have become consumed with their own desires, wants, agenda, etc.  And in doing so, we have lost our effectiveness in this world.  We can’t be preservatives when we can’t get along and stay focused on Christ.  We have all become Burger King Christians – “have it your way- at Burger King Now!” 

The great thing about James is that he eventually got the picture.  He laid it all down to follow Christ – even to the point of dying to the sword.  I have hope in the church that keeps its focus on Jesus and places their desires to the side.  I have hope in the church that preserves peace and keeps it’s salt…“salty.” 

You may not agree with who is in charge, with the color of the carpet or the style of music.  But you must agree with the fact that time is short – hell is real – Jesus came to save the world – and you and I are to share the news.  That won’t happen if we don’t love one another and get along.  That won’t happen if we don’t die to ourselves and focus on the Son!