The reward for serving the King
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone wants to follow after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me will find it. For what will it benefit someone if he gains the whole world yet loses his life? Or what will anyone give in exchange for his life? Matthew 16:24-26
When the people of God are confronted with the beauty of God’s holiness, it compels them to bow down before Him in worship. From the text, the Lord Jesus Christ was on the road to Jerusalem and to the cross. It was important for Him to remind His disciples about their allegiance. Peter just made a great declaration about the disciples’ recognition of who Jesus was. Yet, He has to remind them that following Him will not be easy. It involved suffering in His name that could lead to death. Jesus emphasis regarding these matters is very important. God knew this is where we struggle. We want to follow Christ but we insist on our own terms. The usual attitude is that of agreement with God and interest in Him when His will seemed to be in line with our own self-interest. But when things are not working well in life and the circumstances are not working in favor of us, God seemed to be indifferent. We relish God only when it seemed that His workings are conforming to our personal preferences. Yet from the text, God was very clear to stipulate the terms of His relationship with His followers. It was not about self-seeking attitude that should prevail in the life of Christ’s followers but of willingness to deny oneself all for the cause of Christ. This is the attitude that will lead a believer to offer to God his or her life as expression of worship. Do not let self-interest dictate how you will live for Christ. “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). If on this side of life, we insist on protecting our own selfish interest, we can squander the opportunity in the life that really matters, the life in His Kingdom. “Indeed, we have all received grace upon grace from his fullness” (John 1:16).
Noel De Guzman