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In Matthew 16:21-27, Jesus rebukes Peter for his fear of Jesus' passion and suffering, and stated: "whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."
This bold statement still is applicable today. Following Christ is different now than in the age of antiquity, but still fraught with hazards and opportunities to lose one's life. For example, we have riches unimaginable to the inhabitants of Jerusalem in Jesus' time; surplus food; surplus leisure time, and freedom from direct bodily threats and uncontrolled disease (for the most part). Where we stumble is exactly here: we have become sincerely entitled, and often not thankful. Our riches flow from God's blessing and we dress in them with delight as to don a fur coat in a snowstorm.
Despite this illustration, there is the paradox that Christ foresaw: unsaved souls, people who do go without, people who have been discarded by their society for any number of reasons. Are we willing to minister to them? Are we willing to die to our comfortable lives and provide the love and concern as well as simple human respect that they require?
Recently I have seen a disturbing segment of society in great need: those who have been chemically dependent. Young people who display signs of intellectual damage, death of spirit. This should be the prime of their lives physically and mentally. They have wisdom to accumulate. Who will mentor them? Who can see the hope that could well up and begin to grow like the mustard seed? One thing we can know: Christ will be with us on this road and will bless us along the way. I feel that profoundly. I know I can start today to follow this calling; Jesus asks us to walk with him. Come along.
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