“If any of you wants to be my followers, you must forget about yourself. You must take up your cross and follow me.”
Jesus begins to tell His disciples that He will soon be rejected and crucified, but on the third day He will rise to life.
Peter rebukes Jesus for this, but Jesus says to him “Get behind me satan!”
Jesus then tells the crowd that if anyone wants to be a disciple they must die to themselves and take up their cross to follow Him. To win the world and lose your soul is tragic loss.
Jesus rejects all anti-gospel, self-fulfilment messages. It is not “Your Best Life Now” but “Die to yourself.”
The message is both scary and strangely appealing.
Many christians fail to grow because they never settle in their heart that they have to die to themselves. The christian life is not just about asking Jesus into your heart even though it starts there. Being crucified is hard work, undignified, painful and deadly. It is everything that our fleshly nature revolts against.
How are we to die to ourselves?
1. Decide daily TGIF- Today God Is First. I am no longer my own; I was bought at a price by Christ. I am literally His slave.
2. Sacrifice all ambition. The career ladder and professional advancement may not be what the Lord has for you. The nice house may not be in His plans either.
3. Humility. Our culture both hates and admires humility in others. We like leaders who have “the common touch” but are not too common themselves. I must always look at my life through Christ’s eyes not through the distorted lens of self-image.
4. Be a servant, totally dedicated to serving others and the Lord. Going out of my comfort zone to help others is good for my soul.
Lord, you call me to take up my cross to follow you. I confess I find this call scary. I want to follow you in all things. Please help me to put to death all selfish ambition and to live entirely for you. Amen.