Commands of Christ: 50

Anyone who wishes to come after Me must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.

He summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.  For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the gospel will save it.”  Mark 8:34-35

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.  For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.  What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? Or what can one give in exchange for his life?  For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory, and then he will repay everyone according to his conduct.”   Matthew 16:24-26

“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;  and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me.  Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. Matthew 10:37-39

“If any one comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.  Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.”  Luke 14:26-27

God’s salvation is free, but it costs everything.  We cannot receive His gift of life without emptying our hands of anything else that is in them.  Giving Him our allegiance means having no competitors for our affections.  He is (and must be) of far more importance to us than our lives, than any earthly relationship, than all our possessions.  We are bound to Him entirely, with no reservation.  We will obey Him and follow Him no matter what the cost, no matter what the sacrifice or risk.  This is not optional.  These are the terms which the Lord clearly communicated.  Our decision and resolve will be tested.  By His power and grace He will enable us to obey and follow through the fire and through the flood, with the temptation to ease and comfort, when alone or in the midst of a crowd going another way, and every other circumstance.