The Text

Mark 8:34–9:1 (CSB)
34 Calling the crowd along with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone wants to follow after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.

35 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me and the gospel will save it.

36 For what does it benefit someone to gain the whole world and yet lose his life?

37 What can anyone give in exchange for his life?

38 For whoever is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

1 Then he said to them, “Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God come in power.”

The Devotion

We must die: we do not get to worship God and not-god

Matthew 6:22-24 (CSB) “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. So if the light within you is darkness, how deep is that darkness! 24 “No one can serve two masters, since either he will hate one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

We must die because of sin and our sin

Romans 6:8-11 (CSB) Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him, 9 because we know that Christ, having been raised from the dead, will not die again. Death no longer rules over him. 10 For the death he died, he died to sin once for all time; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11 So, you too consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

We must die: like Christ, we must take up our cross

Matthew 16:24-28 (CSB) Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone wants to follow after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me will find it. 26 For what will it benefit someone if he gains the whole world yet loses his life? Or what will anyone give in exchange for his life? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will reward each according to what he has done. 28 Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

We must die: like Christ, we must be crucified

Galatians 2:20 (CSB) 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.

We must die: it’s the only way to be a new creation

2 Corinthians 5:16-17 (CSB) From now on, then, we do not know anyone from a worldly perspective. Even if we have known Christ from a worldly perspective, yet now we no longer know him in this way. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come!

We must die: it is the only way to be born again

John 3:5-8 (CSB) Jesus answered, “Truly I tell you, unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not be amazed that I told you that you must be born again. 8 The wind blows where it pleases, and you hear its sound, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

We must die: it is the only way to be born of God

1 John 5:1-4 (CSB) 1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father also loves the one born of him. 2 This is how we know that we love God’s children: when we love God and obey his commands. 3 For this is what love for God is: to keep his commands. And his commands are not a burden, 4 because everyone who has been born of God conquers the world. This is the victory that has conquered the world: our faith.

The Discussion

1. Who of us are really ready to die to everything in the world has to offer--even to the good things of God
2. Which would you rather have: good things from God or God himself?
3. Are you ready to obey the Son of God?
4. When you wake up tomorrow, with his renewed mercies and grace upon grace, will you obey him them?

John 8:10-12 (CSB) When Jesus stood up, he said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 “No one, Lord,” she answered. “Neither do I condemn you,” said Jesus. “Go, and from now on do not sin anymore.”] 12 Jesus spoke to them again: “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.”

The Prayer from the Psalms

My Only Life
Make me yours.

Have your way in me.

Amen.