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Friday, July 25, 2014 other day's devotionals

Today's Devotional Reading
In All Our Ways

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From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. "Never, Lord!" he said. "This shall never happen to you!" Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."
Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matthew 16:21-26).

Many of us may read this passage and feel sorry for Peter. His intentions seem noble as he took Jesus aside and told Him, "This shall never happen to you!" But Peter’s rebuke carried with it overtones of selfish concern, and Jesus promptly responded with a rebuke of His own, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men." We do not know exactly what Peter’s thoughts were, or what he was trying to say to Jesus, but it is clear by what Jesus said that Peter’s motives were not pure.

Jesus had a purpose, and He reminded Peter of that purpose as He spoke of the cross. Jesus had come to lay down His life. He was not given a normal life in this world, but a cross to carry. As he followed God, He counted His life as forfeited--given up for the will and purpose of the Father.

Peter’s remarks clearly expressed his desire to see God work in Jesus according to Peter’s plan. But Jesus reminded Peter that there is a greater plan than ours, and it is the plan we must follow. Even as Christ gave up His right to a life of His choice on this earth so that the greater plan of God might be accomplished, He admonished that the rest of us are asked to do the same. To do any less is to become a stumbling block to the purposes of God. To choose our plan over His is to “not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."

We make a lot of plans in this life, and so often without consulting God. Careers, churches, locations, marriage partners, and many other life decisions are made with the “things of man” in mind. May God help us to follow Him in all our ways, and not just a selected few.

“in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:6).

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