The title of my post is a quote from “A BIBLICAL PORTRAIT OF A TRUE DISCIPLE, PART II”. A sermon from First Baptist Church, Woodstock. The sermon is about Matthew 16:24-26, which was part of the reading for my men’s group.
Every day, I prayerfully strive to say yes more to God and less to myself.
The following three paragraphs are quote directly from the sermon.
Discipleship Is Costly
24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to follow Me [as My disciple], he must deny himself [set aside selfish interests], and take up his cross[expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow Me [believing in Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me]. 25 For whoever wishes to save his life [in this world]will [eventually] lose it [through death], but whoever loses his life [in this world] for My sake will find it [that is, life with Me for all eternity]. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world [wealth, fame, success], but forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
Jesus made it very clear in the Gospels that there was a cross for Christ (Matt 16:21) and there is a cross for Christians. The believer, as Christ’s disciple, is to “deny himself.” To “deny self” is to subject oneself entirely to the Lordship and resources of Jesus Christ, in utter rejection of self-will and self-sufficiency. Last week, I. “The Picture of Discipleship.”
“To deny oneself means in every moment of life to say no to self and yes to God. To deny oneself means once, finally, and for all to dethrone self and to enthrone God. To deny oneself means to obliterate self as the dominant principle of life, and to make God the ruling principle, more, the ruling passion, of life. The life of constant self-denial is the life of constant assent to God.” William Barclay.
To read the rest of the sermon, here is a link.
Other versions for Matthew 16:24-16.
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. 25 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. 26 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?[a] Is anything worth more than your soul?
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?
24-26 Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?