I am with you always until the end of this world - Jesus (Matthew 28:20).

Preach the Word in season and out of season reproving, rebuking or advising always with patience and providing instructions (2 Timothy 4:2).

Do not fear, Mary, for God has looked kindly on you (Luke 1:30).

Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly. - G. K. Chesterton

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Friday, August 26, 2011

My Reflections for Sunday August 28 Twenty-Second Sunday in OT: Matthew 16:21-27

My Reflections:
There’s this teaching called Prosperity theology or gospel, the center of this philosophy is this: You follow and serve Jesus and you will prosper materially. You give to your church without measure because you will receive what you gave a hundredfold. The proponent of this idea focuses on God as a giver of wealth and prosperity. Some charismatic groups are using this teaching to attract more followers and they are successful with this; who wouldn’t want prosperity and a blissful life.

But is this always true? That once we choose to follow Jesus and generously give to the church we will have a prosperous and blissful life?

Jesus in the gospel said to the disciples: "Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.  In effect Jesus is contradicting this teaching of prosperity theology; many of us has this mistaken notion that once we choose to follow Jesus then life will be OK already for us.  This is not always the case, often times the more that we faithfully follow Jesus the more that we are persecuted, the more that we create enemies for ourselves. There are even those who were martyred for their faithful discipleship.

Does this discourage us already? The person with a faint heart will be easily discouraged by this paradox of true discipleship. But if we really desire to faithfully follow Jesus we must be prepared for persecution, for hardship and we must even be prepared to die for the sake of our true discipleship. Full blooded followers will never be afraid with whatever sufferings and crosses that may come their way. Because they know that in the middle of their hardships and persecutions Jesus will always be there for them to strengthen and guide them in every step of their way.

So why be afraid of sufferings, of persecution or even death? Life is temporary anyway and aside from that we don’t own our lives, God owns it. If we suffer because of our faithful adherence for Jesus then expect a reward someday.

It may not come our way during our lifetime but there will eventually be a reward when we are already up there in His heavenly kingdom. ... 

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