“Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself…’” (8:34a). Jesus’ initial invitation to respond to God’s generous grace was given to both the crowd of curious onlookers and to devoted disciples. Jesus says, “If …” Responding to God’s grace is the choice of every person. Only those who respond to God’s rich grace with denial of self are truly following him.
For those of us who follow Christ, Jesus’ words are a constant challenge. To deny self is counter to everything in us. It is counter to the culture in which we live. Today, think about the way(s) in which you are denying yourself to follow Christ. Pray God will reveal areas of your life you need to surrender to him.
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