Howdy Friends! Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. Matthew 16:2

What does that mean? “let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me”

Let’s think out loud together. “Deny himself.” Do away with our flesh born lusts. Too much time on the internet. Too much time on TV. Too much time on vacation. Pretending we are walking with the Lord when we haven’t been in church in years. Or go a few times and blame our slothfulness on the pastor, corporate leanings and proclaim God is everywhere I don’t need a church. Working overtime for the paycheck while denying family, study and worship. On and on we can, and probably should list our idols. Idol worship has many forms. Not denying one’s self is one. Sacrifice takes many forms.

“Take up His Cross.” Carry the message that Christ died for, to teach us. Proclaim His victory over sin and death. Defeat our own sin. Identify it, mortify it. Cry out for the LORD’S help to defeat it. Teach others the way of our Lord and savor. Stop their pell-mell race to eternal death. Carry the Lord’s cross in a way people notice, learn, adopt and proclaim.

“Follow me” Shall we ignore Christ’s urging we follow Him? Follow Him. Obey His commands. All of them, not only those that suit us. If we don’t understand, dig deeper. Ask for help. “For in a parable He did not speak.” Christ showed us the way at Pentecost! “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” … “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” Observe “ALL” not some. But all.

Our Christian duty is in that phrase: Deny ourselves – Take up HIS cross – Follow Him.

~ Gitty Up, Dutch.

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