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A Life for A Life

Updated: Apr 24

There is no end when it comes to surrendering your entire life to God. In fact, we don’t ever graduate and move on from submission to His Will and Way. A relationship with Him and becoming a disciple is a lifelong journey. “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me…” (Matthew 16:24) What does it mean to deny yourself? What does it mean to take up your cross? What does it mean to follow Him? We need to understand these three steps to effectively take action and enter into the Kingdom of God.

Denying Yourself

Self-denial includes denying oneself possessions, fleshly desires, status, and anything else that is needed in order to grow in holiness and obedience to God. In Galatians 5:24, the Bible says, “And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” This is a daily practice that we are called to do as followers of Christ. We can deny ourselves in many ways including fasting, getting rid of idols and distractions, living modestly, obeying God even when it is uncomfortable, loving our brothers and sisters in Christ, and much more. We can be encouraged by Paul’s words… “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life that I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)

Taking Up Your Cross

Jesus carried His cross before He was crucified. The cross during the first century was a symbol of a tortuous death that was about to take place. Taking up your cross involves dying to yourself and enduring persecution and trial in order to obey God at all costs. Jesus said “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?” (Matthew 16:25)

Follow Him

We are lastly told to follow Him. What does it really mean to follow Jesus? Following Jesus looks like imitating how He lived, obeying His Word, and obeying His specific call for our lives. This will look different for each believer, but our walks should always align with God’s Word and continue to transform us into the likeness of Christ. The journey is difficult, but with God’s grace and in dwelling Holy Spirit, it is possible.

Denying ourselves, picking up our cross, and following Christ are essential to truly entering the Kingdom of God and becoming a disciple. Revelation 12:11 says, “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death” We overcome by not loving our lives even unto death. That is a pretty sobering reality, but it is the truth of the scriptures. It is an honor to suffer as Christ did, and the glory to be revealed when we obey is unimaginable.

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