July 24

“And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”
Luke 9:23

It is easy to say, “I’ll follow Christ.” But when we learn the cost, many are not so sure they wish to make the journey. While salvation is free because Jesus paid the price, being His disciple is costly because it is we who must pay a price. What does it mean to deny myself and take up my cross daily – a cross that can only signify a daily inner death to self? And what does it mean to follow Christ? Where is He going? What will He be doing?

Let me tell you the story I read about a five-year old boy who illustrates the above text. His sister had a rare disease and needed a blood transfusion from her brother who had survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies to combat that illness. When asked to give his blood to save his sister, the lad hesitated, took a deep breath and said, “Yes, I’ll do it if it will save Liz.” The account continues, “As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheeks. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded.” That’s when he asked the doctor, “Will I start to die right away?” Being only five, the boy had misunderstood the request for blood. He thought he was going to have to give all of his blood! And he was willing!

Now look at our scripture again. Doesn’t the One who gave all His blood deserve you and me as a living sacrifice? To say “No!” to self-daily? To take up our personal crosses and follow the Savior by embracing all of His commands and fulfilling all of His demands? Anything less is not to be a disciple, but to be deceived!

My Prayer

“Lord Jesus, You held back nothing in offering Yourself for me. I shall hold nothing back from You. Teach me to deny self and take up my cross of obedience to You – daily!”

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