Matthew 16:24-25 – Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
Matthew 16:21-28; Mark 8:34; Philippians 3:7-11; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
In his book, “Is God Anti-Gay?”, the author, Sam Allberry, who acknowledges his struggle with same sex attraction (SSA) uses a parallel passage (Mark 8:34) to our memory verse to explain why he chooses not to succumb to his feelings and goes on to articulate that every Christian is called called to costly sacrifice, “Deny yourself does not mean tweaking your behavior here and there. It is saying ‘No’ to your deepest sense of who you are, for the sake of Christ.”
“To take up a cross is to declare your life (as you have known it) forfeit. It is laying down your life for the very reason that your life, it turns out, is not yours at all. It belongs to Jesus. He made it. And through his death he has bought it.” [Excerpt From: Sam Allberry. “Is God Anti-Gay?.” iBooks. https://itun.es/us/fdlfR.l]
Have you ever stopped to consider how costly and foreign it is to follow Jesus?
Speaking with a friend who has yet to believe Jesus, these words of self denial were folly, strange and very much against his nature. He, like many, lives by the sentiment Temet Nosce, or “know thyself” – “to thine own self be true”.
For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing,
but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
1 Corinthians 1:18
Jesus warns of the cost of not denying yourself and following him in the next verse (Matthew 16:26): For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?
- If you have believed Jesus, how costly and foreign was it to follow Jesus?
- Are you following Jesus? or are you living Temet Nosce?
- Stop and consider the value of Jesus’ death on the cross for you.
Do you think you can repay him? What could you give God that He might have to repay you? (Romans 11:33-36)