Tuesday, August 05, 2008


This morning I sat down with my oldest son, Dylan to read Mark chapter 8 before I left for work.

When we got to verse 31, where Jesus informs his disciples that he will suffer and die, Peter rebukes him and Jesus in turn rebukes Peter saying, "You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."

Jesus then turns to all of his disciples and says, "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, and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?"

Dylan, who turns 13 in December, admitted that he wasn't sure what Jesus was talking about there, so we talked about it a bit more. I explained that Jesus first says that he will die, and when Peter rebukes him Jesus explains that not only will He die on the cross but all of those who wish to follow Jesus must also take up their cross daily and prepare to die.

I asked Dylan if he was ready to do that. He admitted that he wasn't ready to die. So, we prayed together for God to help him understand what this was all about.

We talked about how, when he was a little boy, he prayed and gave his heart to Jesus. He was baptized as a young boy and started his journey with God all those years ago, but our decision to follow Jesus is a daily decision. I explained to him about how all of us who follow Jesus have to pray that prayer every day- ask God to forgive us and lead us and change us and surrender our lives to Him.

I had to admit to Dylan that I really never understood what Jesus was saying for most of my Christian life. It's only been in the last six or seven years - after being licensed and ordained and pastoring others- that I began to understand what Jesus was saying.

My oldest son is wrestling with concepts that I never encountered until I was in my 30's. I know this is not an easy thing for him to understand.

On my way to work this morning I prayed that God would help Dylan to grasp these difficult words from Jesus and to have the wisdom to understand them.

I need to understand them too.


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