Why is it that we are so quick to quote John 3:16 and talk about God's love for us but we don't like to talk about what Jesus said in Matthew 16:24 or Luke 9:23? I believe that we like to skip over verses like Matthew 16:24 and Luke 9:23 because they don't sound very appealing. The thought that God loves us so much that He gave His only begotten Son for us and that if we believe in Him we will have eternal life is a wonderful thought! However, when we think about having to deny ourselves and having to take up our cross to follow Jesus, that sounds like a bit much.
If you have not already figured it out, you are going to spend your lifetime denying self. When you trusted Christ as Savior, you went from being self-centered to being Christ-centered. One of the greatest temptations that you and I will face is to affirm ourselves while we follow Christ. I'm afraid too many Christians today want a Jesus that does not impede their personal desires and ambitions. We say "Lord, I want to follow you, but I want to stay where I am."
Most Christians today want to keep their lives unruffled, undisturbed, safe, and secure. However, Jesus tells us that if we are going to follow Him and be His disciple that we must first deny ourselves, then we are to take up our cross and follow Him. The startling reality of Matthew 16:24 is that most of us today are not truly following Jesus, even though we may have trusted Him as Savior.
Are we truly denying ourselves? Are we denying all of our dreams, our hopes, our ambitions, and our desires? Are we totally surrendered to Christ in every area of our lives?
I would like to share with you three things that we all need to start each day doing:
- Deny myself
- Surrender to Christ
- Live in the power of the Holy Spirit
Prayer For Today:
Heavenly Father, today may I deny myself and totally surrender every part of my life to You. Help me to not be self-centered and focused on the temporal, but help me to be Christ-centered and focused on eternal things. Use my life in such a way that You would receive all the honor and glory. In Jesus name, Amen!