Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Are You Following Jesus Closely?

How close are you to Jesus?

Matt' 16:21-27
Matt. 26:58
John 18:18

James 4:8 
Draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh to you.  

Which direction are you going? Are you drifting away?  If you don't correct your direction, are you going to be in trouble?

Peter rebuked Jesus 
Jesus reproved Peter.
Peter didn't submit to the correction.

Carnality makes it hard for people to submit to the correction God has instituted

Matt. 12:40
Jesus was trying to prepare them for what was ahead, for things to not go on as they had been.

Who was Peter that he should feel free to rebuke Jesus?  Carnal people have a hard time accepting what they don't like.
Jesus' rebuke was firm:  "Get thee behind me, Satan. You are an offense. You are being a stumbling block."

Anyone who tries to keep you from doing the will of God needs to be firmly dealt with.  Be careful of people who could be a stumbling block to you. And if you realize someone else is being faced with a stumbling block, guide them away from it.  Don't aid and abet the one who created the stumbling block.

Jesus saw Peter was drifting away and He began teaching him about self-denial, a vital part of the gospel.  "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross."   In other words, when a conflict arises between what you want and what I want, choose to do what I want you to do.   And sometimes it will be EASIER to do something other than what God wants you to do.

Self-denial:  Contrary to human and carnal nature.


Matt.16:25 "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it."
If you become self-centered, you'll end up destroying yourself.  Deny yourself and find life.

Just as Peter responded, many still say, "It's not going to be that way". Their attitude, like Peter, is "Be it far from me: this shall not be."a

22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.