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Jesus Said We Must Deny Ourselves And Follow Him

  1. Are you a follower of Christ? Not just someone who talks about Him or makes an effort once and a while to do something for Him. One day while Jesus was walking with His disciples someone said to Him, "I will follow You wherever You go." This is the same thing that true believers in Christ have said at some point in their lives. Jesus replied, "Foxes have dens and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head." Then He said to another man, "Follow Me." The man replied, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father." But Jesus told him, "Let the dead bury their own dead. You, however, go and proclaim the kingdom of God." Still another said, "I will follow You, Lord; but first let me bid farewell to my family." Then Jesus declared, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and then looks back is fit for the kingdom of God." (Luke 9:58-62). How many of us, even if it was only for a day, have found some reason in this world to sidetrack us from following Jesus. Regrettably, many who have made the claim to follow Jesus do just that, and not for a day, but for the rest of their lives. It is those who Jesus will tell directly, "You are not fit for the kingdom of God."

    Living for Christ is not a religious experience, it is not a weekend "church" thing, but instead it is a daily lifestyle lived out by His true followers. Jesus said, "If anyone wants to come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and for the gospel will save it. What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? If anyone is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in His Father’s glory with the holy angels." (Mark 8:34-38). It is not too late for you to turn away from a live that serves this world based on your fleshly desires. That is what is meant by repentance, to turn the other way and pick up your cross and follow Jesus. I fear that if you continue to avoid a full surrender you will run out of time. The Lord could come back at any moment and therefore we need to be careful not gamble away His calling and spend eternity separated from our Creator.

    For those who have an ear to hear God's truths, listen and understand the meaning of the Parable of the sower. "Now this is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. The seeds along the path are those who hear, but the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. The seeds on rocky ground are those who hear the word and receive it with joy, but they have no root. They believe for a season, but in the time of testing, they fall away. The seeds that fell among the thorns are those who hear, but as they go on their way, they are choked by the worries, riches, and pleasures of this life, and their fruit does not mature. But the seeds on good soil are those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, cling to it, and by persevering produce a crop." (Luke 8:11-15). Only the seeds in good soil can produce a crop and each of the other three conditions are all the people who failed to surrender their lives. This in spite of any verbal proclamation they may have made with some form of a "sinners' prayer" (which is not found anywhere in the bible). God concerns Himself with what is true from our hearts and not with mere words we may say.

    I pray you will join those who in spite of the hardships they may go through in life pick up their cross today. It is the kingdom we are called to serve and not some form of religious substitute to try to level the scales of a selfish heart. The Lord is looking for those who will truly follow Him!

    About Author

    I grew up in New York as one of ten siblings. Once graduating high school in 1976, I entered the United States Air Force. On June 6, 1982 I personally met my savior Jesus Christ. In spite of my many shortcomings, the Lord has continued to shape my life to serve alongside others who have experienced spiritual rebirth and are part of the Church, the Body of Christ. I now reside in New Jersey and am blessed with a beautiful family, wonderful fellowship, and best of all eternal life found in Jesus.


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