Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | December 30, 2018

“If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.”

Today’s devotion comes from Luke 9:23-26.

“And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.  For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.  For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself?  For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”  Luke 9:23-26.

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Jesus is our example, “saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed and be raised up on the third day.”  Luke 9:22.

Jesus could have saved His life, maintaining that His primary mission was to preach and heal, but He denied Himself, took up His cross, and followed the will of God the Father to redeem God’s elect.

There are different ways to deny the self, take up the cross, and follow Jesus.

Some deny the self by refusing to “hang with” their family members and friends in order to best prepare themselves for church or work.

Some deny the self by refusing to take the most lucrative employment in order to follow the calling of God to be a mother taking care of her family at home or to be a preacher or to be a school teacher.

Some deny the self in order to follow the calling of God to do the best, not just what is good.  They may be doing some good Christian service in their church and be receiving much praise from fellow Christians for doing it, but they feel that God has called them to do what is best for them to do.  Such “best” work may not be as well respected and praised as the “good” work, but they deny themselves, take up the cross, and follow Jesus.

Some deny the self by giving up their own self-righteousness from the Law and praise from man in order to obtain that righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith in Christ.  “For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God.  I have been crucified with Christ;  and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me;  and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.  I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.”  Galatians 2:19-21.

Some deny the self by giving up the big church with all the family, friends, business contacts, and social events in order to be part of a small church or fellowship that preaches and teaches Reformed Doctrine.

It is difficult, even impossible, to deny our self, take up our cross daily, and follow Jesus do by our own will and by our own nature alone.

But, there is hope!

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”  Ephesians 2:10.

“for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”  Philippians 2:13.

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 2:6.


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