The Beautiful Bride - Week 4, Day 1

Suck It Up, Buttercup!

IF… Jesus said to the crowd, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.  For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.  What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” Mark 8:34-36 (NIV)

IF…Paul said, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 (NIV)

THEN… I will understand that although my salvation is not dependent on my good works, Christ does expect me to live a life of sacrifice and commitment to Him while I wait for his return.  Christ is not just Savior, but Lord of my life as well.

During the first week of our study, I shared my excitement about becoming Mrs. Fitzgerald.  I must confess that my maiden name began with a Z so moving from the end of the alphabet up twenty spaces to 6th place was pretty amazing. My whole life, I had been last, and now, I was in the top end of the middle. It was exciting.

When we change our name to “Christian,” we move up to 1st place... by taking last place???!!! Jesus taught that if we want to be great in His kingdom, we need to be servants, that we should provide for the “least of these,” and that the “last would be first and the first would be last.” These concepts go against our very nature and culture. 

From the time that we are born, we are fed the idea that we should strive to get the best.  We grow up wanting the house, the car, the clothes, the shopping, the restaurants, the vacations, the toys; and we spend our lives trying to achieve these things because behind each door, we are sure to find happiness.  In reality, the opposite is true; behind the momentary happiness of each achievement or acquisition is the realization that there is something bigger and better to pursue.  The longer we pursue these empty dreams, the more dismal our lives become.

It is for this empty reality that Jesus offers an exchange. He promises the fullness of His life for the emptiness of ours. BUT this fullness comes in realities we can’t see!  Since the things that our Groom offers are eternal and spiritual, we have a hard time trading the temporal and physical.  We aren’t sure we want to give up our character for his!

Is anything holding you back from surrendering EVERYTHING to Him? Is there anything that you are NOT willing to sacrifice to Him? These are HARD questions! As the mom of five kids, I often find myself saying, “Suck it up, Buttercup. I know it is hard, but it is for your good.  Do you trust me?”

In all honesty, we all struggle to let go of something, but it is our resistance to complete surrender that keeps us tied to the emptiness of our past life. Remember, you were worth HIS life! Is HE worth yours? It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it - both now and forever! Trade the TEMPORAL for the ETERNAL! As your life takes on the character of His, it will never be the same!

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