Now it happened that as He was praying alone the disciples were with Him;
and He asked them, "Who do the people say that I am?"
And they answered, "John the Baptist; but others say Elijah; and others, that one of the old prophets has risen."
And He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"
And Peter answered, "The Christ of God."
But He charged and commanded them to tell this to no one, saying, "The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised."
And He said to all, "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever looses his life for my sake, he will save it."
And, oh my goodness, it isn't easy. It's simple and straightforward, but it isn't easy. And we are supposed to do it every day! We can't decide that we will follow Christ only when it feels good, only when we want to! We have to do it all the time.
And, of course, the Devil, the Evil One, doesn't let us forget that we really don't want to deny ourselves anything. We want to have fun, to enjoy life, to get angry, to gossip, to own lots of good "stuff", to eat well, to go wherever we want whenever we want. He wants us to live the "if it feels good, do it" sort of life - not denying ourselves anything! And certainly not taking up a cross, of all things!
But if we don't proclaim the Gospel each day, and if we don't endeavor to live the Gospel each day, what do we have?
If we do what "the Christ of God" has asked us to do, to the best of our abilities, knowing we will fail, but knowing God will forgive us, we have something that is more precious that gold. We have eternal life.
If we have faith and follow the Gospel, we have eternal life.
What more could we possibly want?
- - - - -
Raf and I had a wonderful, worshipful experience at St. John's today, and if you are in the Fort Worth area, I would recommend that you visit. They have four weekend services:
Saturday, 6:00 pm Vigil
Sunday, 8:00 am 1928 Book of Common Prayer service
Sunday, 9:00 am Rite II
Sunday, 11:15 am, Rite I
They have anointing at both the Rite I and Rite II services.
Further, St. John's has a ministry to the community of Fort Worth, to all the people in Fort Worth, and tomorrow through Friday, their Vacation Bible School will be held for children entering grades 1 - 7, from 9 am to 12 noon. Their address is 2401 College Avenue. Telephone number is 817.927.5341. They are just east of the TCU area. This VBS will be a wonderful way for the children of Fort Worth to hear the Gospel!
You can find St. John's on the web at http://stjohnsfortworth.com/.
May the Lord strengthen our hearts, to be blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his holy ones. Amen.