Mark 8:34-38 (Read it online here)
Picture youthful innocence, when a child is convinced that his dad is without fault. ‘Daddy’ is a superstar in his mind. He wants to be just like his father. This is the posture Jesus asks of us when we follow Him. As sons and daughters of God, not only should we long for Jesus’ glory, but we should also emulate His suffering.
What must Jesus’ disciples do (34)? What do you think it means for someone to take up their cross and follow Jesus? What “comforts” might we need to lay aside? What happens to those who lose their life for Him (35)? What about those who preserve their life (35)? How would you explain this paradox? Regarding the soul, what rhetorical questions does Jesus pose (36-37)? What will happen to those who are ashamed of Jesus (38)? How do you think Jesus will specifically express that shame? In what ways do you show the world that you are a disciple of Jesus?
How does the Holy Spirit, God’s Presence, help you in this effort? How would you describe the cross you carry? Where does suffering mark your discipleship? What evidence is there that you regularly deny yourself and that your life has been lost for Jesus? Ask the Lord to search your heart, motives, and actions for any signs that you are ashamed of Jesus and His words. What is He revealing? Repent of these sins and ask for resolve and conviction to live as a shameless child in awe of their Father.
(Adapted form a resource by vineyardcolumbus.org)