“Deny And Take Up” ( Luke 9:23-24, KJV ) by Carley Evans

Jesus gives up His rights — His rights to glory, His rights to being worshiped, His rights to His full power. Simultaneously He takes up human flesh with its physical weaknesses — with functions we never mention when we speak of Jesus perhaps because we can’t quite wrap our minds around those functions in regards to God. Eventually, Jesus literally takes up the cross to die a horrific death on our behalf.

“And [Jesus] says to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.”

Tough to relinquish rights, isn’t it? From early childhood, we learn “that’s mine!” and “No, I won’t!” or “You can’t make me!” Denying what’s ours and giving up what we want do not come naturally to us. We desperately want to save ourselves. We don’t want to follow along after someone else.

Jesus says, “Don’t struggle to save yourself. Put all that outer stuff down. Each day, pick up and deal with what comes. And follow Me. Otherwise, in your self-absorption you’ll lose Me and your life.”

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