Deny Yourself

Today’s Date:  January 25, 2010

Deny Yourself

Reading: Gen 50 to Exodus 2:10, Matt 16:13-17:9, Psalm 21:1-13, Proverbs 5:1-6

S – Scripture:

Matt 16:24  “…Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

O – Observation:

People’s New Testament (commentary):

Mt 16:24 If any man will come after me. Compare Mt 8:34-38 Lu 9:23-27. The conditions of discipleship are presented.

Let him deny himselfLet him be prepared to say no too many of the strongest cravings of his nature, in the direction more particularly of earthly ease, comfort, dignity, and glory.

Take up his cross. Luke adds daily (Lk 9:23); not once, but all the time. The cross is the pain of the self-denial required in the preceding words. The cross is the symbol of doing our duty, even at the cost of the most painful death.

And follow me. To follow Christ is to take him for our master, our teacher, our example; to believe his doctrines, to uphold his cause, to obey his precepts, and to do it though it leads to heaven by way of the cross.

A – Application:

Often we hear of people who say you must bear your own cross, or “take up your cross”.   In applying this scripture in my life I am reminded that taking up my cross daily is (as Wesley’s Notes) “let him in all things deny his own will, however pleasing, and do the will of God, however painful.”

P – Prayer:

I pray that I will have the faith, patience, grace, and understanding to deny my own desires and my will to do God’s will. Father help me to be a good servant, student, and example of your ways. In Jesus name, amen.

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© elehua808 – 2010- All Rights Reserved

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Will You be Liked, if you Deny Christ?

Today’s Date:  January 15, 2010

Will You be “Liked”, if you Deny Christ?

 

 Reading: Gen 31:17-32:12, Matt 10:24-11:6, Psalm 13:1-6, Proverbs 3:16-18

S – Scripture: “Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven.”  Mt 10:32-33

O – Observation:

Jesus said if we acknowledge him on earth, he will do the same in heaven. But if we deny him on earth, he will deny us before our Father God. That’s easy to read and understand. It’s scary though, when we are put in a life or death situation – would you still admit you are a Christ follower? Or how about a “like” or “dislike” situation? Will my family and friends still accept me for following? Mt 10:40 Jesus says, “He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives the one who sent me.”

A – Application:

It’s challenging to hear these words. Often times we want to please others, we just want to be “liked”. There are probably more situations of people who will deny Christ to be “liked” than those who will deny him to escape death.  As one becomes stronger in their faith it’s easier to say, “I choose Jesus.” It becomes more challenging as friends and family – “disown” and don’t want to associate with you for being a follower of Jesus, so sometimes we compromise. How you may ask? We don’t stand up and share our faith openly. We laugh or stay quiet when those around us are speaking or acting in ways of the world – negative, derogatory, swearing, etc – or we don’t hold others accountable for their behavior. Even other Christians will desire to be “liked” by those on earth, than honor their faith in Christ – so we’re left with a few friends, instead of many. The bible says that we are to fellowship with one another. We are to encourage each other in our faith. Even if they (friends, family) both Christian and non-Christian – put us down for acknowledging Jesus or being “too” opinionated, or “too religious”. This is not about being religious; this is about a relationship with Christ. This is about not wanting to be denied by Jesus, when we come before the Throne of God and will Jesus say, “Father, I know her, she did not deny you on earth.”

There’s a great research article by The Barna Group, that’s quoted in The Truth Project – Lesson 2: The study asked the question, “How many Americans have a biblical worldview? The answer: General American population: 4%, “Born-again” American population: 9% – …and we don’t act that different from the world… I choose to be different from the world. I need to have a biblical worldview.

P – Prayer:

I pray that I am not put in the situation of a life or death in claiming my faith in Christ – like so many who live in countries who are not free to worship Jesus Christ.  I pray that those who risk their lives to bring others to Christ are protected and provided for. I ask the Lord to help me to be strong when I am placed in situations where I may be tempted to deny or “water down” my belief just to “get along” – that God will protect me in those situations and guide me to be a light for him. When I come before the Lord I want Jesus to say to our Father in Heaven, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

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