Thursday, September 22, 2016

Timeless Truths: To Follow Jesus – Deny Yourself

Timeless Truths: To Follow Jesus – Deny Yourself

23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?
Luke 9:23-25
All Scripture quotations are from the NIV.

To deny oneself means to say “no” to self and “yes” to God.
  • The New Testament writers understood this.
  • Today, many Christians are willing to demonstrate this idea during the Lenten season.
Denying self needs to be a way of life, not just a seasonal act.

The Apostle Paul wrote,
For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— [Romans 6:6]
  • The call to deny self is the call to break the bonds of sin.

To those who said, “That can’t be done,” the Apostle Peter wrote,
Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. [I Peter 4:1-2]
  • The really important thing is not the momentary or occasional acts of sacrifice but living a daily lifestyle of denial of self.
  • The Kingdom of God is “upside down” compared to humanities natural life.
  • People aren't looking to follow a weak calling—one with no challenge.

Jesus does not
  • deceive us by His call. He supplies all we need to meet that challenge through the Holy Spirit.
  • call us to anything He wasn’t willing to do.

Denying self does not mean giving up all that made life good and fun.
  • What we need most to deny is individualized for our personality.
  • The struggle to commit is eliminated if we deny ourselves first.
  • Commitment without loyalty to Christ will not endure.
Americans aren’t used to having any Lord. We must “get past that” and find freedom through self-denial.

“No person has ever given their all to Christ who did not wish (s)he had more to give.” Paul Skiles
Special thanks to Rev Tom Goble for the primary teachings used in this post.

Next Thursday's Timeless Truths Series: To Follow Jesus – Take Up Your Cross Daily

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