Luke 9:23-24 (NIV)
Then Jesus said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.”
Our Verse of the Day challenges us to evaluate our response to Jesus! Jesus taught a key principle of discipleship; namely, whoever wants to be His disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow Him. Notice the spiritual application for us is a daily action item – “take up your cross daily.” In essence, Jesus is telling us that self-denial … no longer living for ourselves but for Him … is the conviction and transformation that should occur within us. This is what it truly means to believe and abide in Jesus! We are called each day to put our sinful nature to death (Cf. Colossians 3:5); bring every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ (Cf. 2 Corinthians 10:5); and to serve Jesus by following wherever He goes. (Cf. John 12:26)
As we have studied over the past several days, all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Cf. Romans 3:23) It is the redemption accomplished through the death and resurrection of Jesus that requires a response from every human being. That response is repentance! That response is faith in His blood atonement! That response is a love for God demonstrated through obedience:
1 John 2:4-6 (NIV)
Whoever says, “I know Him,” but does not do what He commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person.But if anyone obeys His word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in Him:Whoever claims to live in Him must live as Jesus did.
1 John 5:1-3 (NIV)
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves His Son as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out His commands. In fact, this is love for God: to keep His commands. And His commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
So let us pray and resolve this morning to deny ourselves and to be obedient to the life of Jesus within us. Let us take to heart these words that Paul penned: “For if we have been united with Jesus in a death like His, we will certainly also be united with Him in a resurrection like His. For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body ruled by sin might be rendered powerless, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.” (Cf. Romans 6:5-7) “For those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” (Cf. Galatians 5:24) This is what is means to deny ourselves and to pick up our own cross each day and to follow Jesus! Let us encourage each other to do so as we see the Day approaching…. Amen.
So Now You Know…
Have a Blessed Day!
Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it. ~ Matthew 10:37-39