Thistlebend Quiet eMoment

by Laurie Aker

Focus Scripture: Luke 9:23-27 ESV

23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me,
let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
24 For whoever would save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.
25 For what does it profit a man
if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?
26 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words,
of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory
and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.
27 But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who will not
taste death until they see the kingdom of God.”

____________________________________

I have a dear friend who says that she loves
Jesus but every time she is presented with the choice of
choosing to trust Jesus or holding on to her bad habit
she chooses her bad habit.
She wants what she wants when she wants it.
After all, it is her life.
It’s her day.
It’s her time.
She can do with it what she wants.
Can’t she?

It seems very difficult and traumatic for her.
Day after day, week after week, she lives in inward misery
because she is convinced she will be unhappy
if she has to give up what she enjoys.

Let me make this clear.
Her bad habit isn’t even bad,
except that it represents her unwillingness to deny herself
in order to follow Jesus.

She can’t seem to deny herself
except when she wants to.
Which, as you can see, isn’t denying herself.
She seems controlled by her needs, her wants,
her feelings, and her desires.
At the center of all of this is self.

She continues to serve herself even though
serving herself is hurting her.
The enemy is so deceptive.
And the sinful self is so easily deceived,
like bribing a child with candy.
He makes the thing you need to give up seem
so attractive,
so alluring,
so inflated.

And he rewards you with temporal sweets…
immediate gratification,
the satisfaction,
the comfort,
the ease,
the fix.

TAKING THE TRUTH TO HEART

What is holding you back?

Is it your “love” for food?
Alcohol?
Stuff?
Is it your “desire” for control?
Is it your “need” to look a certain way?
Is it the “way” you do things?

We are commanded to
love the Lord our God with all our heart,
desire Him and Him alone,
and find all of our needs met in Him.

Our selfish idolatrous ways are exactly that — idolatry.
When we choose to continue to put Jesus second to anything,
He will not be first in everything.

When He is not first in everything,
He is not Lord of all.

How do we repent?
How do we let go of the old way?
Confess our unbelief.
Confess our selfishness.
Confess our unwillingness to give up our way of doing things.
Confess our reluctance to give up our self, our life.

Do not be deceived.
Going to church on Sunday,
reading your Bible in the morning,
and saying your prayers
doesn’t really “mess” with your life
or your will or your way all that much.
You can even volunteer several hours a week and still
hold on to your life.

But truly following Jesus does.

Luke 9:24
For whoever would save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.

AND BRINGING IT TO LIFE

Choose one truth from today and apply it to your heart.
Take it with you throughout the day.

PRAYER

Lord, we can’t do this without you.
We need you.
Have mercy.

In His hands for His glory,
Laurie

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