CAC LIVING WATER DAILY DEVOTIONAL FOR JANUARY 21, 2023 : TOPIC – NO CROSS; NO CROWN
LIVING WATER CAC DAILY DEVOTIONAL GUIDE
Saturday, January 21, 2023
NO CROSS; NO CROWN
Read: Matthew 16:22-28
Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.
But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.
Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.
MEMORISE: Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me” (Matthew 16:24).
Peter was innocently trying to prevent the death of Christ, his benefactor. Unknown to him, Satan was subtly offering Jesus, i.e. the through him, the kingdom without the cross (v. 22), kingdom not by the way of the Cross. No wonder Jesus sharply rebuked him (v. 23). Satan had earlier presented Jesus with such offer (Matt. 4:8-10), but Jesus sharply rejected it.
Similarly, the devil offers the kingdom with ease’ to people, today, and many are falling prey, unlike Jesus. The devil makes Christianity look to them as simple as doing it their own ways, and by their own powers. It presents such doctrines as once you are born again, you can never fall again, even if you keep sinning. The devil offers people licentious Christianity, making people highly hedonistic, i.e. pleasure-seeking, self-indulgent, and decadent. He plays down the doctrine of suffering for Christ’s sake (Jn. 16:33; Php. 1:29; 1 Pet. 5:10), to subtly drive people on the path of supposed ease to hell.
The truth is, No Cross, No Crown/kingdom. Jesus emphasises that no one can be His true disciple who doesn’t deny himself of worldly pleasures to focus on Him alone, carrying his cross, i.e. thorn(s) in the flesh that God wouldn’t remove (cf. 2 Cor. 12:7-10), and follow Him on the rough, thorn-laden, narrow path to His kingdom (Matt. 16:24ff).
You cannot eat your cake and have it. You can’t avoid the cross and have the crown. If you want to save your life (i.e. try to dodge the painstaking involvements of making it to Christ’s heaven), you will lose it (v. 25). But the eternal life with Christ, in His kingdom, is worth losing one’s life and all in this age. Never dodge this responsibility! There is no crown without cross.
SUGGESTED HYMN FOR TODAY: CAC GHB 761
1. Where He lead me I will go,
For I have leaned to trust Him so,
And I remember ’twas for me,
That he was slain on Calvary.
Jesus shall lead me night and day
Jesus shall lead me all the way
He is the truest Friend to me,
For I remember Calvary.
2. O I delight His command,
Love to be led y His dear hand;
His divine will is sweet to me
Hallowed by blood-stained Calvary.
3. Onward I go, nor doubt nor fear,
Happy with Christ my saviour near,
Trusting that I some day shall see
Jesus my friend on Calvary.
1. You pleasure-seeking spirit making me to want to dodge the cross of Christ, out of my life, in Jesus’ name.
2. Lord, help me to be more heaven-seeking than pleasure-seeking.
3. Lord, let messages that focus members minds on Christ and heaven permeate our churches/pulpits more than ever before, in Jesus’ name.
EXTRA READING FOR TODAY: Exodus 12:1-14:20