In the Bible, in the gospel according to Matthew, Chapter 16 verses 24-28, a follower of Jesus Christ is challenged to live life in such a way that when he is judged by God, he will enter into life, rather than spiritual death.
This is natural enough: to decide if one is worthy to be a disciple. Not that he has done good enough, but that he has started on the journey with God and is seeking to serve him – with his heart, mind, soul, and strength – in whatever circumstances he finds himself in.
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. 26 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? 27 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.
28 “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.
I take this passage very seriously. As I read it, I find it a challenge as Jesus is calling me or anyone who would be his disciple to deny himself and follow him. It’s the denial of self that I focussed on during my musings today. I will never be a missionary or pastor or minister of a church, but I do what I can in the context of my life. I dwelt on the verse – “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves” – at almost every corner of my day and used it to guide and inspire. I found this completely centring and helpful. The tests and challenges come, though, to spoil the peace. But for me things fell into place.