If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever...loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Matthew 16:24-26 NKJV
Born on this day in 1758, Maximilien Robespierre was a leading figure of the French Revolution. He rose to prominence as a lawyer and judge, developing such a reputation for honesty and integrity that he became known as The Incorruptible. As part of the Committee of Public Safety that gained power in the early 1790s, Robespierre sought to establish his version of an ideal society. However, while implementing changes he felt necessary, his character turned darker. He resorted to a Reign of Terror that led to the arrest and execution of thousands. Increasingly obsessed with power, Robespierre became hated even by many of his allies. In July 1794, he was arrested and sent to the guillotine.
Men like Robespierre serve as a warning of how easily we can become corrupted by motives and goals that seem justified and pure. Possessed by a desire for power, we might seek to gain the whole world (v. 26), but in the process lose our own soul even by goals that once seemed reasonable and right. How quickly we also can be choked by the deceitfulness of riches (Matthew 13:22).
So how can we keep our motives pure? As Jesus taught, we must deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him. Every day, we must seek His Kingdom first.
PrayerFather, I surrender my life to You. I will take up my cross, follow Jesus, and live for You. In His name I pray. Amen.
Extended ReadingMatthew 16