Three Steps of Discipleship: Step One–Deny Yourself

If anyone would come after me,
he must deny himself.
   —Mark 8:34a

Have you cut back on the Oreos? Trimmed the hours vegetating in front of TV?

Is that what Jesus meant when he said if you would be his disciple you must deny yourself?

No. He meant you must surrender ownership of yourself to him.

That’s hard, for we fiercely defend our rights. Read the signs at protest rallies. The wording varies, but the meaning is clear: “Leave me alone; I have my rights!”

We call him Lord; the one possessed of absolute control; supreme master. If Jesus is Lord of your life, you have given up ownership of self: “You are not your own; you were bought at a price” (1 Cor 6:19-20).

Step one: Deny yourself.

That’s the price of discipleship.

Self-denial trumps self-promotion.

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