Blog Archives

♣ Three Things in Order

deny yourself

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” – Matthew 16:24.

If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” – Mark 8:34.

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” – Luke 9:23.

 

ALL THREE SCRIPTURES are in exactly the same order and there is ample reason for being so. We cannot take up our cross unless we first deny ourselves and we cannot proceed in following Christ until we take up our cross. To follow Christ will involve pain and a great deal of it. Christ, without sin, experienced unaccountable pain on the cross and we will too in our cross-bearing, even though we have denied ourselves. The apostle Paul was crucified to the world and the world to him; he was crucified with Christ. Your cross might entail being severely misunderstood by those closest to you, ostracised for your faith, discrimination from success in this world, or even loss of this life because you stand uncompromisingly for Christ. The hallmark of self-denial is submissiveness to God having His way in you through your trials.

The Christian is to expect peculiar trouble in this world, for in Christ we will be uncomfortably peculiar to the world itself. We are to expect being hated and opposed, for any other expectation than this is to miss what discipleship entails. We would do well to harken unto Paul’s words – inspired of the Holy Spirit – that “all who desire to live a godly life shall be persecuted.” The child of God shall encounter tribulation in this world, but at the same time we are to derive immeasurable comfort and encouragement from the fact that Christ has overcome this world. It is through our losses and pain that we shall discover what it is to be more than conqueror through Christ and be led onto paths of gain and joy that this world knows nothing of.

 

%d bloggers like this: