Jeremiah 20:7-9; Psalms 63:2-6,8-9; Romans 12:1-2; Matthew 16:21-27
It has been said that “following Jesus is like climbing a spiral staircase”:
Sometimes it seems as though we are just circling around, getting nowhere. But then we notice that the circle is getting bigger and bigger and that our perspective is getting wider and wider. Our perspective is becoming less and less self-centered and more and more other-directed. We are being guided by an unseen hand that enriches and enhances our lives even in the midst of suffering and setbacks.1
To be alive is to face risk. To be alive is to risk death, injury, sickness, disease, anxiety, embarrassment, shame, rejection, loneliness, betrayal. And because by virtue of our being alive, these are risks we must run necessarily, they subject us to the greatest risk of all — the risk of our spiritual destruction, which is despair.
We spend a goodly portion of our lives struggling to achieve some measure of security against these and other risks. We build nest-eggs to secure ourselves against…
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