Expectant Prayers ®

Jennifer Jo Weiss

Denying Ourselves

"Then He called the crowd to Him along with His disciples and said, "If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me, for whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.  What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?  OR what can a man give in exchange for his soul?  If anyone is ashamed of Me and My Words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be  ashamed of him when He comes in His Father's glory with the angels."  Mark 8:34-38

Denying yourself is not an easy thing, but if we are to follow after Jesus, it is a must.   It's really easy to get wrapped up in ourselves and what we want, isn't it?    Selfishness is a destructive force that fights against our true duty/purpose God has ordained in us and the call of God on our lives. 

Have you ever known anyone that spends more time worrying about themselves, how they look, their problems, their goals...them...them...them.   It gets pretty tiresome after awhile trying to engage in a one way relationship.   I know people that every time they call, you can hardly get a word in edgewise! They are so busy talking about themselves that they don't really care to hear about you, your thoughts, or otherwise... unless it's praise for them!    How did they become so self centered and absorbed?   It's a shame to see how little time people invest into the Lord and how much they put into themselves.  Like the verse says, "What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? OR what can a man give in exchange for his soul?"    They are exchanging their soul for self.

By Jesus' own Words, we can conclude that denying ourselves goes against our natural tendencies.  It's not an easy thing to die to our own flesh daily and pick up our cross.  One well known TV evangelist said once that our "cross" isn't our infirmities, our problems, or any other plot in life that we have deemed, "Well, this is my cross to bear."  The evangelist said our cross is our own self and dying to our flesh.    I would tend to agree for the most part.  We are our biggest obstacle when it comes to serving Christ and really desiring His will in our lives.  We end up replacing God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit with ME, MYSELF, and I.  We cannot make a difference in other's lives and bless them when it's all about me, me, me.  We draw others to Christ through simply by Him living in us; as we conform to Him people are drawn to His light in us.

Let's all examine ourselves today and our motives to see if there is any wicked way in us.  Or if someone came to mind while reading today's conversation, please remember to pray for them that they would learn to deny themselves and follow Christ.  The three main areas in life that compel us toward a sin are the world, the devil, and our own flesh!    Let's bind together as the body of Christ today and declare war on the enemy and his work in the lives of Christians.  We want to see a healthy body of Christ; one concerned about following God and doing His will and not our own.

Blessings today friend and don't forget that tomorrow is the National Day of Prayer!  See you then.

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