“Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me’.”          Mark 8:34 NIV


Jesus gives three calls of discipleship here: 1) we must deny ourselves, 2) we must take up our cross, and 3) we must keep following Him. Let us look at each of these in turn. Before we followed Christ, let’s face it, we were number one. We made decisions in life according to how they would most benefit us. But now we have a new Master. We are a disciple of Christ. Our first loyalty is to Him, not to ourselves. It is all about Jesus! When a person took up a cross in Jesus’ day, that meant only one thing – they were going to die. The Romans made one carry one’s own cross to the place of execution. Jesus started out carrying his cross. Carrying our cross means suffering for Christ. It means dying to self and living for God. It refers to the sacrifices we make because we are a Christian. Following Jesus means that we go the distance. We don’t just start out on the path, but we continue to die daily unto self as we keep following Jesus for the rest of our lives. You might say, “Wow! This is a tough call upon my life”. And you are right, it is. But our lives depend on it. “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.” (Mark 8:35 NIV). Jesus said that if we lose our lives for Him and the gospel, we will save our lives. Why should we accept Jesus’ call of discipleship? Because our lives depend on it!



Lord, I accept Your call to discipleship because my life depends on it.



Lord Jesus, You said that if we lose our lives for You and the Gospel, we will save our lives. We accept Your call of discipleship because our lives depend on it. AMEN


I.B.R.A. Readings

2 Chronicles 36:11-20



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