When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, "Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?" Mark 8:34-36 (NKJV)
God has been speaking to me a lot through this verse. "Whoever desires to come after me..." This verse really questions my purpose in living. Do I really desire to "come after" Jesus? Is He the pursuit of my life? What am I living for?
The truth be told, we live for a lot of different things, even those who proclaim to be Christians. I find myself living for a lot of different things - success in work, the praise of others, the love of my children, material gain, the blessings of God, etc. And I'm disappointed when I don't get those "things." And often I take it out on Jesus ("why, Lord...?")
More often than not, I'm seeking the Lord's blessings rather than the Lord Himself. I'm learning there is a difference.
God, through His prophet Jeremiah said, "And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart." Jer 29:13 (NKJV) Am I searching with "all my heart"? I'm not sure I have the answer for that question, that I really want to have... yet.