“To follow me, you need to deny yourself.” That’s what Jesus says to his followers in Mark 8. Listen to what teaching leader Mike Harding says:
Deny myself? Take up my cross and follow him? What does that mean to me? All I know is that doesn’t sound like much fun. Matter of fact, it sounds like a lot of work. In today’s world each of us are encouraged to do what “feels good”. Don’t worry about offending others; they are just cramping your style. So, the idea of refusing myself anything is completely counter-culture of America today.
But, Christ asks that of us. And for good reason, too. Christ is interested in our holiness, not our happiness. He is interested in us looking more like Him than ourselves. Denying ourselves leads to Christ clarifying our thinking. Clarifying our thinking leads to God empowered life change; change that couldn’t take place when we were partaking in things that shifted our focus away from Christ.
”And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.’” Mark 8:34
What do you need to deny yourself of today? How do you stay focused on Christ as you move throughout your day? Get rid of all interruptions. Deny yourself that last peek on Facebook and open up your Bible. God has so much more for you when you meet with Him.
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