As was pointed out yesterday, salvation not only saves us from the punishment we deserve, but also from the love of sin. We must not take man's word about this, but Christ 's. For in Mark 8:34 He says, "Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross, and follow me."
The point here is: that we come into heavenly glory only by coming after Christ. We must walk after Him in God's holy law. And to do this we must deny ourselves and take up our cross, and follow Christ. In the beginning of history Adam turned away from God and went the way his flesh wanted. Yes, this was the way designed by Satan and suggested to man by him. Adam agreed to go the way of sin. We now must deny this evil desire wherewith we were born.
That we take up our cross means that we willingly suffer what the world wants to inflict upon us. It cannot mean taking up Christ's cross. On it He cried out that "It is finished." It means that we suffer at Satan's and his followers' hands. It means that we confess Christ to be our Savior. And it means that we are willing to suffer the ridicule, mockery, and pain the world wants to inflict upon us. We must walk after Christ, no matter how much affliction the world heaps upon us. Only by following Christ will we arrive where He is in heavenly glory. No, we do not earn that glory by that walk. Christ paved the way to glory, and He gives the life and strength to follow Him. If we do not come after Him, we are coming against Him. Then we are not following Christ but following Satan; and that leads to hell and its everlasting woes.
Deny your flesh and its love of sin. Confess God to be your God; and do this not simply with your lips. Do it with all your works. Come after Christ no matter what it costs physically. You will then have assurance of everlasting blessedness with Christ in glory.
Read: Mark 8:34-38
Through the Bible in One Year
Ezekiel 21; Ezekiel 22:1-31
Quote for Reflection:
"Man's heart is restless till it finds its rest in God. There is no resting place in this world or in anything it contains. Godliness with contentment is great gain, but all gain without godly contentment is frustration. Coveting is a fire, the more you feed it, the more it burns. ...So the more a person's coveting is satisfied, the more it is unsatisfied. The more he gets, the more he wants. Coveting grows larger and larger with every satisfaction, and in the end the person is more miserable than at the beginning." ~John Gerstner, Reasons for Duty
- Date: 10-November