he must deny himself
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“This teaching was adapted from the book,
“The Knowledge of the Holy,”
by A.W. Tozer.
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Right away we are given a choice, “If.” It’s not a command, for this is something we must volunteer to do. The choice is ours. We must “want” to do it. The only way we will experience the power of the cross is if we accept it as a part of our daily life.
Next in this verse we see the word “anyone.” Meaning, this verse is extending this invitation to us. If we have a clear revelation of the “person” speaking these words to us, it will radically change our lives, for it is none other than the second person of the Trinity, Jesus!
Jesus is our Living God who is: Self-Existent, Eternal and Self-Sufficient. Our Jesus is; All Present, All Knowing and All Powerful. We know that He is Infinite, Holy and Righteous He is our Unchanging God, and our Sovereign and Creator God. These are just a few of the over 480 names describing who our God is. He’s the One who has shown us how much He loves us and shown us what He willingly did to rescue us from death and hell.
Today, He still bears the wounds on His hands, feet and in His side, showing the price He paid for you, for me!
Next in the verse of Luke 9:23 we see three short statements,
as to what He expects of us if we accept His challenge.
We are to:
“Take up our cross daily.”
And we are to;
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First, we are to:
our proud self and our unbelieving self.
our rebellious self and our unforgiving self.
our hateful self and our lustful self.
our resentful self and our envious self.
We’re talking about any attitude or motive, any thought,
word or deed that we know will not be a part of our life in heaven.
For if our God will not allow them in heaven,
He definitely does not want them to be a part of us now.
* * * * *
Second, we are to;
“Take Up Our Cross Daily.”
Where do we start?
We start within our heart.
It is there that we are to “take up our cross daily,” this place of our inner world.
As Tozer says:
The journey he takes is not on his feet but in his heart.
He walks with God in the garden of his own soul –
and who but God can walk there with Him?
In that place within our heart we learn to take all loneliness and convert it into inner solitude.
Because Immanuel, our all-present God, is with us.
And it is to His Cross where we learn to take
all the pride,
all the unbelief and
all the rebellion we may find within us
and we must take it to the Cross of Jesus and there we are to destroy any expression of those three cancers.
For if it is not destroyed, then it will eventually destroy us.
The word “daily” is also in this verse.
We must learn that to “take up our cross daily” meaning that this verse is a “lifestyle”, and not just a one time experience.
* * * * *
And third, we are to
Jesus saw past all the suffering, abuse, shame and death,
to that place were He could be with His Father.
So we too must learn to see past the suffering that our own cross will bring us,
in order to experience all that our God has for us now.
So, where will He lead us?
We know that He has said in Jeremiah 29:11;
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.”
Also in John 10:10 b, says
“…I have come that they may have life,
and have it to the full.”
It’s in Psalm 107:9 that King David tells us that our God,
…he satisfies the thirsty
and fills the hungry with good things.
This “thirst” and “hunger,” that King David is speaking of here is a “thirst” and a “hunger'” within our heart.
Many times we have filled our hearts with sinful pollution, by way of lust and pornography.
“If”, we repent of this and
“If we pick up our cross daily and follow our Brother Jesus,”
He will see to it that ours hearts are filled with “good things.”
As His brothers by adoption,
He desires to share His life and light with each of us.
Does He have a destiny for us? Yes!
What does it look like?
It will be a life of purity and of fruitfulness!
And for you and me, we will be made into His image and likeness.
we need to realize that following Him is far more than just dying to our old life and receiving what he has for us.
For most importantly,we begin to fall in love with Him daily in a greater measure than the day before.
We start having His heart and mind.
Our desire will be to be in His presence, wanting Him in every aspect of our life.
Hungering and longing for Him.
Worshipping Him for who He is
What He has done for us.
Now, right now, the choice is ours,
if we accept it,
it will prove to be the challenge of our lives!
This is the Choice,
this is the Challenge!
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