Matthew 16:24-27(NIV): Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.
Our society is completed infatuated with celebrity and many other entertainment idols. More people will read entertainment magazines or follow celebrities on Twitter, instead of spending daily time in the word, listening for God. They won’t even open up their Bible during the week and they wonder why their life is not what it should be. God can and does speak to us through His Word and through the Holy Spirit. However, God gives us the free will to decide if we will follow His ways or the ways of the world.
Many in our world long for more and more material possessions and yet those things never satisfy for very long. We tend to define ourselves by the material things of life and we measure success by what we have managed to accumulate. God judges success quite differently. God looks inside us, at our heart, and He judges us based on how we follow and obey Him in being the very presence of Christ to a lost and perishing world. God views us differently than the world does. God doesn’t judge a person based on their appearance or their standing in the world – God looks at the heart.
1 Samuel 16:7: But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
It seems that so many people today are consumed with themselves. We take selfies to bring attention to ourselves and we go to social media to let everyone know our most random thoughts and feelings. Many in our world today have become prideful, instead of being humble, and thinking about serving and putting the needs of others first. The things of this world only seek to pull us away from God and from time spent in listening and praying to Him. And that’s not surprising, because who is the ruler of this world – The spirit of the air? Ephesians 2:1-2: As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.
Begin today by living to please God and seeking Him daily, instead of the material and temporary things of this world. Pay special attention to those around you that God places in your life. Try to be more humble and focus your attention on those around you and less on yourself. Strive to put the needs of others first, instead of yourself. And most importantly, we are to take up our cross daily in order to follow Jesus. Will you live to please God or to please other people? Ask God to open the eyes of your heart so that you may live only to please and bring glory to God.