Read Matthew 16:24-28
In church growing up, we would sing a chorus that echoed Jesus’ statement of gaining the whole world, yet ultimately losing our soul. Being young, my assumption meant that this kind of sacrifice would entail the loss of my GameCube for a few hours, at most. My realization of this concept of sacrifice grew astronomically as I grew up. Faced with temptations based on everything from friend groups to a career path, there have been countless times where I could have forged ahead while leaving behind the relationship I had formed with God.
Years later, I boarded a plane, heading to Chicago, ready to commit my life in pursuit of spreading the Gospel. My cross that I carry is ultimately this very fact, as I wrestle with the idea of what a life looks like that is solely dedicated to the teaching of God’s love. We all have our cross that we have to take up, and like Jesus’ death, we are going to feel an incredible amount of pain.
Questions for Reflection: What is something in your life that you have had to sacrifice in pursuit of Jesus? How has this act altered your lifestyle?
Reflection written by Jax Gorman
Read 2 Timothy 3:10-17
Paul reminds Timothy of his own persecutions and then states blatantly all Christians will be persecuted at some point. To encourage Timothy to focus on the most important things, Paul reminds him to stay grounded in the truth he has been taught. Paul’s reminder that “all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” should be a reminder to us that the Bible is not just an old book that has no bearing on our lives. We should take Paul’s encouragement and ground ourselves in the truths we have been taught.
Questions for Reflection: What about studying the Bible regularly is a challenge for you? What steps can you take to help get past these challenges? Who do you know that can help you in your own study?
Reflection by Pastor Tim Gioia