Monday, January 11, 2010

Dying to Live

Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels" (Mark 8:34-38).

Three demands of discipleship:
  1. You must deny yourself (v. 34b). "Denying yourself" means that you decide to exchange your will for God's will.
  2. You must take up your cross (v. 34c). "Taking up your cross" means that you are willing to make any sacrifice for Christ.
  3. You must follow Jesus (v. 34d). "Following Jesus" means that you are committed to imitating Christ's example and obeying His teaching.
Three benefits of discipleship:
  1. You will have real life (v. 35).
  2. You will not be disappointed in the end (vv. 36-37).
  3. You will not be ashamed when you stand before Jesus (v. 38).
Following Jesus can be difficult, but all who choose this path will be greatly rewarded in the end.


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