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Pearls of Grace - March 22

Published: Mar 22, 2022

March 22

The Pursuit of Jesus

"If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me."

Mark 8:34

In years of walking with my Lord and being a student of His word, I must have read this verse a hundred times or more not mention he popularity it holds in the pulpits of God and rightfully so. But there has been a gap for my own heart and understanding of the first six words of Jesus before he ever addresses the denying of self and taking up their cross and following; it’s the words "whoever wishes to come after me". The Lord was describing the determination and life of the Christian who had resolved to the purpose of going after Jesus. He was saying, if you come after me it’s going to involve refusing of anything that self would want and then and only then you will find your cross, a cross that you will have to take up. Then, Jesus says, you can come after me.

Have you ever given this thought? Have you ever made the intentional choice to go after Jesus no matter what it cost you? A Christian will pursue many things in the name of Christ, for the sake of Christ and never pursue Christ Himself. It’s often these pursuits that broaden the distance between Jesus and the capacity of our reach. We may have the right heart, desiring to have more of Him in our life but apart from denial and taking up, we won’t reach the goal. Jesus wanted His disciples to know that there is a difference in wishing for more of Him and actually gaining more of Him. Hear the Lord’s words once more as a springboard for your faith; "Whoever wishes to come after me"… These words roll like thunder in my soul. Do I really wish to go after Jesus knowing that it involves denial and a cross? Do you I…do you?

More than anything, Jesus wants us to know Him as fully as we possibly can this side of Heaven. To know Jesus more will mean loving Him more and loving self less. To know Jesus more will mean serving Him more and tending to self less. And to know Jesus more will mean giving Him more and until there is nothing left to give. May you fix your sights on Jesus and guard that view all the way home!

"ANYTHING that dims my vision of Christ or takes away my taste for Bible study or cramps my prayer life or makes Christian work difficult is wrong for me, and I must, as a Christian, turn away from it."

J. Wilbur Chapman

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Originally published Tuesday, 22 March 2022.