*FYI - when I first started reading this I thought it was the same text from Sept 1st, but it's actually the cross-reference account in Mark...
Friday, September 11th, 2009
"If anyone wants to come after me, let him disown himself and pick up his torture stake and follow me continually." (Mark 8:34)
If we do not have the real issue of sovereignty clearly in mind at all times, as Jesus did, there is always the danger of compromise or failure. Why so? Because we can easily fall prey to the machinations of Satan, who is a master in making what is wrong appear desirable, as he did when tempting Eve. (2 Corinthians 11:14; 1 Timothy 2:14) Therefore, in our ministry, our goal is not just to help people to know what the Bible says or what blessings God’s Kingdom will bring. We must help them to come to grips with the real issue. Are they willing to become true Christians and pick up their “torture stake” and suffer for the sake of the Kingdom? Are they ready to join the ranks of those who are for Jehovah’s sovereignty and thus prove Satan a liar and a slanderer? (Proverbs 27:11) It is our privilege to help ourselves and others to do so.—1 Timothy 4:16.
(Watchtower issue: 12/1/07, 2:15, 16)
*This is such a key issue, because it's one of the relatively few times God requires a very black & white, all-or-nothing decision on our part. When you read Bible accounts of how Jehovah and Jesus dealt with humans throughout the Scriptures, you'll notice how they generally demonstrated a very flexible and yielding attitude when it came to certain issues. But not in this case...this is one issue where there's no 'sitting on the fence.' When it comes to choosing whose rulership you support you're either 'for' God's Kingdom of theocratic government ... or you're not ... in which case you'd be choosing to support rulership by man instead of God. It's just that simple. James 4:4 makes the point very clear:
"Adulteresses, do YOU not know that the friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever, therefore, wants to be a friend of the world is constituting himself an enemy of God."