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Week 41 Day 5 – Hard Following

Luke 9:23-27, 57-62

In these two passages list all the things that Jesus requires of those who desire to follow him?

Spend a few moments honestly evaluating your own heart in light of this list.

In v. 23 Jesus mentions 3 things that a follower

must do:

  1. Deny himself
  2. Take up his cross daily
  3. Follow

1. What does it mean to deny yourself?

The same word translated “deny” is used in Titus 2:12 and Matthew 10:33. Does reading these verses help with the definition?

To deny yourself is to say “NO!” to the selfish impulses that drive us and to acknowledge that God is king and ruler of our lives. We are not in control; we are servants of the king.

2. What does it mean to take up your cross daily?

The cross represented death. Jesus would ultimately give up everything and die a sinner’s death on the cross. His disciples must be willing to do the same. Luke adds the word“daily” to this teaching from Jesus. I love this emphasis. If we are going to be disciples of Jesus then it is not enough to have given our life to Him once at a summer camp or have been baptized a few years ago at a large baptismal service.

Jesus expects His followers to come before God each day and “die.” We must die to self, die to pride, and die to the need to be in control. It is only when we are dead that we can be resurrected in the power of the Holy Spirit.

3. What does it mean to follow?

Here comes the action. It is one thing to say that we are dead to sin and dead to self, but the proof is in the putting. A good tree will bear good fruit. A person who has truly denied himself and died will put the life of Jesus into action in his or her daily actions.

This may be a stretch, but I see loving God with Mind, Spirit, and Body in this verse. We mentally and cognitively acknowledge the supremacy of Christ in our life — deny ourselves (MIND). We emotionally and spiritually die every day, experiencing the death of Christ and the filling of the resurrection Spirit (SPIRIT). We volitionally and physically act on our altered state and obey God with our words and deeds; following (BODY).

In short, daily we need to pray:

KILL me

FILL me

SPILL me

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