Mark 8:34, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
Surely this must be one of the hardest sayings of Jesus. Having told the disciples that he will suffer, be crucified, and rise again...he now tells them that to follow in the way of Jesus is to take up “cruciform living.”
To take up our cross is to step into the pattern of Jesus, the pattern of selfless and sacrificial love of God and love of the world. According to Jesus, the way to gain everything in God, is to give up everything we settle for outside of God.
Many of us have been fasting on Wednesdays in April. One of the reasons we fast is to practice this self-denial, to give up that which we are told we need outside of God in order to feel just how needy we are on God.
→ Where is God calling you to deny yourself?
→ What scares you about cruciform living?
“Jesus, I hear your words, but they seem to tell me something totally different than every other voice, including my own. It seems like every other voice tells me to give myself everything I desire, but you call me to deny myself. To pick up my cross. I can’t do this without you. I need you. Please help.”
Adoration: Praise the Father that He was willing to sacrifice His Son.
Confession: Confess where you are scared to deny self.
Thanksgiving: Give thanks that Jesus carried the cross for you.
Supplication: Ask the Spirit to give you strength to deny self.