Death To Selfie
February 11, 18, 25
March 4, 11, 18, 25
You have to die. There is no other way to follow Jesus and find the life that is truly life. Take up a cross, die to yourself, and follow him. These are challenging, yet strangely liberating words in our self-esteem, self-centered, selfie-snapping culture. When we follow Jesus to the cross, we watch him dying to human approval, comfort, fame, and control. Yet in dying, he found the greatest life of all, the life he offers to each of us. This series follows Jesus to the cross through Mark’s Gospel and calls us to follow in Jesus’ footsteps, knowing that the life we find in him is better than anything found in this world.
February 11 - Death Wish
Jesus’ words shock us as much now as they shocked his first followers back then. You must die. You must deny yourself. You must crucify the old you in order to find the real you. Jesus confronts us with the flesh’s biggest foe—self. But he promises us true life in the kingdom of God, something so glorious and beautiful that every human being should wish to die to themselves and follow him.
February 18 - Death to Wealth
Jesus’ command shocks us as much now as it shocked his first followers back then. Sell everything you have. Give to the poor. It is hard for the rich to enter the kingdom of God. But Jesus knew exactly what the rich young man needed—to die to his idols. Jesus confronts our idolatrous loves too, but promises not only to save us from our sins, but to reward all those who die to the riches of this world.
February 25 - Death to Authority
Authority. Jesus’ enemies adored it. They refused to submit to Jesus’ teaching, even when caught in their own duplicity. They missed finding true life because they refused to die to having the last word. Modern Americans face the same dilemma. Will Jesus be the Lord who gets the last word? Or will we cling to our plastic gavels and tell Jesus what to do?
March 4 - Death to Image
The teachers of the law knew Jesus spoke his scathing Parable of the Tenants against them. Yet instead of repenting of their shocking sins, they looked for a way to kill Jesus. They cared more about their embarrassment than their relationship with God. How about us? Jesus is willing to embarrass himself to become the capstone of our faith. Will will you cling to your image? Or will he become marvelous in your eyes?
March 11 - Death to Fame
The rich gave massive offerings that day in the Temple. But Jesus didn’t say a word or hand out an award. Instead, he noticed and praised the poorest widow who quietly gave the “smallest offering.” In our day of public recognition, what would Jesus say? He would ignore those who praise themselves and praise those who serve God in secret.
March 18 - Death to Comfort
Jesus’ “pep talk” about the end of the age was less than comforting. Wars. Earthquakes. Flogging. Arrest. Hatred. Are we willing to walk with Jesus during the end times? Be hated? Die for him? If you know his promise of salvation and election, the answer is easy—Yes!
March 25 - Death to Approval
You would think that an extravagant offering for Jesus would receive the approval of the church. Not so. Judas and others criticized the the woman who anointed Jesus. The same thing happens today. Follow Jesus and the world might not approve. You’re wasting time. Wasting money. Wasting energy. Wasting your life. But Jesus defends those who love him. His approval is what matters the most, since it lasts forever.