“ 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)
This scripture is one we have all heard before. The subject of the blog today, is what does this look like in today’s world? Pastor Brian has been presenting a series called “Spent”. The idea is to get us to understand that as authentic followers of Christ we need to be completely sold out for Christ. We have been encouraged to write a blank “life check” to Christ giving him 100% of our life. This is what denying ourselves would look like. In monetary terms, it would be like giving someone 100% of our bank account. By writing God a life check you are committing to God your time, your spouse, your children, all of your family, your friends, your home, your job, your vehicles, your health, your gifts, your weaknesses or flaws, all of your worldly possessions, your trust, your faith, your mind and your will. You are telling God that you will follow Him wherever He leads you – that could be across the street, across town, across the country, to Haiti, to Northern Korea or across the aisle in church. You are telling God that you will be obedient even if it makes you uncomfortable. You are telling God that you are willing to lay down your life to further His glory. The apostle Paul writes “But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.” (Acts 20:24) He was committed to laying down his life for God. In our country we are rarely asked to literally lay down our lives for God. But what Jesus was referring to was a more figurative laying down of our lives than a literal laying down of our lives. Meaning, doing God’s will and not our own at all times. So are we laying down are lives? Are we writing blank “life checks”?
Dear Heavenly Father, please help us to deny ourselves. We are weak in flesh. Help us to be strong in our denials. As we lay down our lives for you, help us to carry our cross. We love you and thank you. In Jesus name, Amen.