Reading: Mark 8:34-38
34 And he called to him the multitude with his disciples, and said to them, "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
35 For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it.
36 For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?
37 For what can a man give in return for his life?
38 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of man also be ashamed, when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."
Shortly after the American Civil War had ended, General William T. Sherman’s victorious army was scheduled to march in a triumphal parade in a large city. On the night before, Sherman called General Oliver 0. Howard to his room and said, "General, you were at the head of one of the divisions that marched with me through Georgia, and you ought rightfully to ride at the head of your division in the parade tomorrow. But I've been asked to let the general who preceded you in command represent the division. I don't know what to do." General Howard replied, "I think I am entitled to represent my division, since I led them to victory." "Yes, you are," said Sherman, "but I believe you are a Christian, and I was wondering if Christian considerations might lead you to yield your rights for the sake of peace." "Oh," said Howard, "in that case, of course I'll yield." "All right,", said General Sherman, "I will so arrange, and will you please report to me in the morning at 9? You will be riding with me at the head of the army." General Howard's willingness to submit to his commander and deny himself his rightful place led to the position of greatest honour.
Jesus said, "If any man serve Me, let him follow Me" (John 12:26). When He was reviled and opposed, He did not insist on His rights but "committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously" (1 Peter 2:23). That same spirit should characterize His followers. IF WE AS CHRISTIANS GIVE OUR LIVES TO SERVE OTHERS, FOR CHRIST'S SAKE, WE WILL WIN HIS REWARD, OUR "LOSS" WILL BE OUR GAIN.
THOT: Matthew 6:25-34
Do Not Be Anxious
25 "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
27 And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his span of life?
28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin;
29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O men of little faith?
31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'
32 For the Gentiles seek all these things; and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.
34 "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day's own trouble be sufficient for the day.
MUSIC APPRECIATION: "SEEK YE FIRST, THE KINGDOM OF GOD"
PRAYER (sing the song "Family Prayer")