How to Deny Yourself to Follow Christ.......


If any man will come after Me........Luke 9:23,24 

If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me’”  is the Lord exposing the secret of fruitful walk with Christ, to His disciples.  He was saying to them, there is an acceptable way to serve the Lord.  That acceptable way is to sell everything you have, and give the money to the Needy, then come and follow me.

Human beings are ever afraid of what tomorrow will bring, so you see everyone saving for the 'rainy days'.  You are thought to make provision for the unexpected.  In another language, they tell you not to put all your egg in one Basket.  But this worldly approach to life is not acceptable to God, because it could make you to draw back, unto perdiction.  It could mean that when you face series of spiritual attack and hardship, you can run back to your millions and you are fine.  That way, you will remain a baby Christian for life.

Christ was making a categorical statement there that, self-denial is part of the christian walk, and discipleship.  Be ready to fast and pray, any time the Spirit prompts you.  Through self-denial we crucify our flesh and it desires, so that our life in Christ is strengthened, and grow daily.

What is Self Denial?

Self-denial for the Christian means renouncing your earthly position, as though you never had it and humble yourself to serve the Lord and be fruitful.

Self denial is when you are willing to sacrifice your time, energy, rights, position, reputation, privileges, comforts, and even your very life for the sake of Christ, you exemplify what it means to deny yourself: “Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 10:39)

A heart that will commit to serving Him no matter the challenges of hardship, poverty, loneliness, and persecution. A heart that will tirelessly stand for God and happily and sacrificially reach out to the unsaved with the gospel.  That is the kind of heart the Lord desires and certainly, such people would have made God and Jesus their trust and doing His work, their priority.

It is simply saying you will have to down-play your certificates, money and position, those things that men trust in and boast about and rather put all your trust in God and Jesus Christ.  It means that if you are a Governor and wants to follow Jesus Christ, you should humble yourself before the Lord and behave as though you are not a Governor, so you can freely reach out to people with God's love and message.  

If you are a wealthy man, behave as though you are not wealthy for the sake of the gospel and humble yourself to serve happily in the area the Lord wants to use you. Pride and worldly position that hinder people from flowing with others, such things that stands in the way of your service to God should be removed, so the servant of God can trust Christ completely, that's what the job requires, a consistent, loyal and committed heart.

Denying yourself includes overcoming the persistent fleshly demands of the body, also known as the carnal self or the natural man, and bringing them into submission to God’s Word so that you don’t give into sin: “And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:24, ESV).

What the Call is Not
It is not a call for you to resign from your job or position as an Engineer, Architect, Accountant etc and become a Pastor - NO.  All that is required is a heart of love for God and His work.  It requires a heart that is obedient to the Word and voice of God to do what is written in the bible.  It requires a heart panting for God with a passion to please Him and do His will. 

So, if you are a Pilot, a Governor etc and receive the invitation to follow Christ, it does not necessarily mean you should walk away from your good job and become a Pastor - NO.

The call to deny yourself is a call to enter into eternity with the Lord by serving Him and doing His work in season and out of season. You must deny yourself, humble yourself under His guidance and do the work of faith as the Apostles of the old did.  They laboured to win souls and to raise them up into ministers also so that the good news is preached to all creature on earth without exception.

It's a call for you to count your cost beforehand and be determined to win in the race of life, not necessarily that you should leave your business or job and become a Pastor.

Areas of Self Denial
1. Fasting is one of the disciplines of self-denial that Jesus practiced Himself (Matthew 4:1–2). 
2. Giving to the poor and needy is a form of self-denial that Jesus encouraged (Matthew 5:42; Luke 11:41). 
3. Watching in prayer is another way to deny yourself in service to God, as Jesus demonstrated (Matthew 14:23; 26:41). 

4. Living modestly rather than indulging in excessive luxury is an area in which believers can exercise self-denial (Matthew 8:20; 10:10; 1 Timothy 2:9).

Jesus warns that:

1. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me IS NOT WORTHY OF ME.

2. And he that taketh not his cross (His problems and troubles) and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

3. And he that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.  This can be simply illustrated thus: -  People who deny Christ in times of  religious persecution and danger in order to save their lives will eventually lose it and go to hell, but people who are not ashamed of Christ, who re-affirm their faith and belief in Christ in such circumstance, even if they are killed by sword will eventually go to heaven.

This is the same as saying "Whosoever loves himself more than Me is not worthy of Me"

Understand that

1. The gospel we preach and hear is the gospel of Jesus Christ and He was the topic from Genesis to Revelation,

2.  He is our Redeemer, our righteousness and Hope

3.  He is God personified – The God we saw physically and knew and when you see Him, you have seen God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

4. He is the way to heaven and whatever He says is important for all that want to enjoy eternity with God.

This is one of the problems our Saviour saw and warned us to guide against. God must come first in all things. God is not a man and if we have a duty to respect honour and regard our earthly father, how much more our heavenly Father

Who is Jesus Christ?

He is God, the same that came to us in the flesh as Jesus Christ. That is why He is the only way to God. JESUS CHRIST is our connection to heaven, without Him in your life, there is no heaven for you and for that reason, everything He says is important for living and eternity.  

He loved us even before we were born and came to the world some 2000 years ago and died for our sins and Redeemed us with His blood, shed at the cross of calvary.  His death at the cross purchased our good health, prosperity and success, and so when you want to experience prosperity and live in good health, all you need is Jesus living inside of you.  Some of you think that Jesus just died to save and deliver you from the devil, but He did more than that:

He is the Way,  the only way to God and eternity.   He is the Good Shepherd and we are His sheep and His pasture.  He is the only begotten Son of God, that created all the earth, our great provider, with whom all things are possible and there is no impossibility, hence Apostle Paul declares "I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me". All things!

He is the door that leads you to heaven and there is none else.  On earth, there is darkness and light, Jesus Christ is the light;  There is the good and bad ways - Remember the bad way seemeth right, but the end of it is death, Jesus is the right way!

He is the High Priest, remember He restrained Mary Magdalene from touching Him when he has risen from the dead because He had not gone to the Father yet as our High Priest.


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