a call to die – day 1: take up your cross

“Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.’” – Matthew 16:24

Jesus knew what the cross was – what it stood for – what it was used for.

Still – He went.

In addition, He tells us to take up our cross, to deny ourselves – if we are to come after Him – to follow Him.

This is a “radical obedience.”

In this, we are to do three things: 

            Deny ourselves – take up our cross – follow Him

First, we deny ourselves – “Jesus is talking here about our innate selfishness.”  I love this statement by Nasser,

“Think of our selfishness as a hungry wolf that consumes anything and everything it can eat.  To deny it means:  don’t feed it.  Identify the sources of food for your selfishness, and stray away from those things!”

Then say “Yes” to God and feed yourself with those things of God by reading scripture, praying, and doing acts of service.

Second, we take up our crosses – This is about choices, those decisions we make at the crossroads in our life.  It’s where we either say “Yes or No to God.” 

“So ‘taking up our crosses,’ means to value God about all else, to serve instead of demand our rights, and to be humble instead of proud – to the point of death.”

In that, we have Jesus as our example.  He humbled Himself even to the obedient act of giving His life for ours.

Third, we are invited to Follow Him.  “As God strengthens us, we make those daily choices to say “No” to selfishness and say “Yes” to God, we walk side by side with Jesus Christ.”

Nasser says it best when he says, “friend, this is the abundant life.”

“What is Jesus’ call in this passage of scripture?  It is a call to die, a call to let your selfishness starve to death because you don’t feed it.”

Nasser ends day one with the story of how Dwight Moody heard a preacher challenge the audience:  “The world has yet to see what God will do through one man whose heart is completely his.”  Moody’s responsed immediately, ‘Lord, I want to be that man!’”

“How would you respond to that preacher’s question today?  Do you want to be that man or that woman?”

I do – but in saying that I must deny myself, take up my cross, and Follow (2 Serve) Him.

Question:  Think about the things in your life that you would consider to be selfish.   How then could you “not feed them”?

Scripture to Memorize:  John 3:16.  I know this Scripture is one that almost the entire world knows so I challenge you to memorize it in a different translation than you are used to reading and learning from.

Until tomorrow,

Follow 2 Serve – Love, {Lorna}

(All quotes are from the book, a call to die, by David Nasser.)

About Follow 2 Serve {Lorna}

I am a follower of Christ and I love to serve Him. I am married with two sons. I received my Liberal Arts Associate Degree in May of 2012. My hobbies are reading, crocheting, quilting, knitting, nature photography, and being with my sons.
This entry was posted in a call to die, Books, Follow, Holidays, Serve and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to a call to die – day 1: take up your cross

  1. Elizabeth says:

    I am taking several Lenten journeys this Lent and I am enjoying yours very much, thank you Lorna.

  2. Pingback: Cross I created « My Internet Life by Jackie Paulson

  3. Jackie Paulson 1966 says:

    “So ‘taking up our crosses,’ means to value God about all else, to serve instead of demand our rights, and to be humble instead of proud – to the point of death.”
    Your blog is so right on! To value God above all else. Thanks for writing and visiting my blog as we follow the right road to Christ.

    • Jackie, thanks for visiting and commenting. That quote come directly from the book, *a call to die*, and is right on! I’d never heard of ‘taking up my cross’ being put that way but it makes perfect sense in the view of the way Jesus taught us to be. That’s what He did – He gave up His right to live in order to save us. So Thankful for His obedience. Hope you’re blessed by Him. {Lorna}

  4. Deb H. says:

    Thanks for letting me join!!!

  5. Pingback: a call to die – day 4: rewards | Follow 2 Serve

  6. Dianne says:

    I too pray that I can deny myself and humble myself during Lent, and continue through- out the rest of my life.

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