GIVING UP OUR OWN INTERESTS
When Peter rebuked Jesus for teaching them about His coming suffering, death, and resurrection, Jesus reprimanded Peter with a strong statement, "Get behind Me, Satan; for you are not setting your mind on God's interests, but man's" (Mark 8:33). Jesus was not saying that Peter was Satan, but Jesus was emphasizing that Peter was acting like Satan because Peter was worried about saving his own interest. And his interest was for Jesus not to suffer and die. He did not want anything could happen to Jesus because Jesus had been His everything. He could not face the fact that Jesus would suffer and die. If Jesus died, what would happen to him and the other disciples and his plan to restore Israel from Roman occupation. Jesus then taught His disciples an important lesson about life. He said to them, "If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it." (Mark 8:31-35).
Jesus encouraged His disciples to be willing to give up their own interests so that they may become His disciples (disciples can also mean followers or students). Peter's interest was ultimately for life preservation, but Jesus wanted him to let go of trying to save his life for the sake of God's will in His life. In the same manner, God is encouraging us to surrender our life or our very existence to Him. We need to give up our own interests over His interests. It is the only way we can make Jesus the Lord of our lives. It is about complete submission to His will. We should not be fearful of giving up everything to the Lord because He is the one that controls our time on this earth. He holds and takes care of our lives in the palm of His hands. Jesus promised us that He would never leave us nor forsake us. We are forever His.
So let us surrender everything to our Lord Jesus. Let us live according to His will even when it requires sacrifice, for when we give up our lives for His own sake, we find life.
Ask yourself these questions: What does it mean to be God's disciples? Am I willing to give up my own interests over God's interests in my life? What lesson can I learn from this devotion?
Write down all the worries you face today and lift them up to God.
Father in Heaven, thank you that my life is in your hands, and please help me to give up my own interests to accept your will in my life, for you are my God. Please help me to give up my control and let you control my life so that I may truly live what it means to be your disciple. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.