“Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.’” -Matthew 16:24
In the sermon on Sunday, I offered the following statements from Sam Allberry on this call from Jesus. Allberry states:
Denying yourself does not mean tweaking your behavior here and there. It is saying ‘No’ to your deepest sense of who you are, for the sake of Christ. (pg. 9)
He further explained:
…the gospel demands everything of all of us. If someone thinks the gospel has somehow slotted into their life quite easily, without causing any major adjustments to their lifestyle or aspirations, it is likely that they have not really started following Jesus at all. (pg. 10, emphasis mine)
Christian, where is denying self (or dying to self) lacking in your life? Are there areas in your life where the gospel has “slotted” in “without causing any major adjustments”?
- Is sin reigning in a particular area of your life because you aren’t denying yourself, but are instead gratifying the flesh?
Christian, we have great freedom in Christ and have been called to use that freedom to serve others. (Gal. 5:13-14)
- Are you denying yourself in order to serve others (fellow church members, spouse, children, neighbors, coworkers, etc.)?
- Here is a quick test: Serving requires sacrifice and sacrifice costs you something (time, effort, physical/mental/emotional energy, money, etc.). If you don’t have many costs, then you aren’t doing much serving (denying of self).