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Discipleship

Take Up Your Cross

Mark 8:34-35
34 When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 35 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.
NKJV

There is one other aspect of being a disciple that should be discussed. 

This command (Mark 8:34-35) by Jesus occurs in all three of the synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke). While different interpretations may be placed upon these words, the point in all meanings is that there is a cost to discipleship. Study time and devotional time takes hours away from other activities. Not everyone around us will understand this devotion to God’s Word and will ridicule us for spending too much time “in church!” The true disciple will take such ridicule as a compliment that he is being obedient to God.

Paul writes that he “dies daily” (1 Cor 15:31). We must, minute by minute, put on the armor of God and commit ourselves to following in the steps of Christ rather than following in the ways of the world. We cannot spend 30 minutes in devotions then spend three hours a night watching worldly television or movies or reading worldly books and expect to grow. Such conditions pour more of the world into us than we get from our devotions. Dying daily means to keep God first in all things. We may have to give up some of the things we have “enjoyed” in life. Dying daily means keeping an eternal perspective upon our life all of the time.

Dying daily is saying “no” to self and “yes” to Christ – in all things – all the time! It has always been this way and always will be. When the Christian body does not die daily, the church becomes weak. False doctrine slips in the back door. This has happened over the past hundred years to the evangelical church and the church has suffered. 

 

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