Give Your Life for Christ
Did you ever have the experience when you were a child of having a sticker chart? If you had a really good day, were kind and helpful you'd get a sticker. Normally, as long as you have a good record of stickers, at the end you would receive some kind of reward for your efforts, like ice cream or a new toy. Things like this give us incentive for doing good and living by a pure and kind moral code in life. However, there are some cases where we don't exactly know what the result of our good intentions will be, such as the afterlife.
In scripture and through the teachings of Jesus, we learn some ways which we can strive to be better people, such as giving everything for the poor, being pure and dedicated to our spouses, and giving up all of ourselves for our faith in order to follow Jesus. Some of these teachings reveal to us what the Kingdom of Heaven is like. Jesus tries to portray this Kingdom on earth through the beatitudes, and telling us to turn the other cheek, to love our neighbour as ourself. In the time of the Israelites, some of these are seen as bizarre. They had strict laws for what to do in situations, many resulting in force and punishment. Jesus tells us to do the opposite. It just shows us how little we know about God's Kingdom, and how much we truly have to learn.
In today's Gospel, we read:"And he called to him the multitude with his disciples, and said to them, 'If any man 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; and whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? For what can a man give in return for his life? 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.'And he said to them, 'Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see that the kingdom of God has come with power'"(Mark: 8:34-9:1). Jesus tells us so many clues as to how we can see another piece of God's Kingdom on earth and foretells what Heaven will be like. This means taking up our own personal cross along with Jesus. In order to gain true goodness in life, we must lose our life.
Today's prayer is from 'All About', a prayer for Salvation:
God, I recognize that I have not lived my life for You up until now. I have been living for myself and that is wrong. I need You in my life; I want You in my life. I acknowledge the completed work of Your Son Jesus Christ in giving His life for me on the cross at Calvary, and I long to receive the forgiveness you have made freely available to me through this sacrifice. Come into my life now, Lord. Take up residence in my heart and be my king, my Lord, and my Savior. From this day forward, I will no longer be controlled by sin, or the desire to please myself, but I will follow You all the days of my life. Those days are in Your hands. I ask this in Jesus' precious and holy name. Amen.