by A.W. Tozer
If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. Luke 9:23
Our Lord called men to follow Him but He never made the way look easy. Indeed one gets the distinct impression that He made it appear extremely hard. Sometimes He said things to disciples or prospective disciples that we today discreetly avoid repeating when we are trying to win men to Him. What present-day evangelist would have the courage to tell an inquirer, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it” (Matt. 16:24-25)? And do not we do some tall explaining when someone asks us what Jesus meant when He said, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law” (Matt. 10:34-35)?
That kind of rugged, sinewy Christianity is left for an occasional missionary or for some believer behind one of the various curtains in the world. The masses of professed Christians simply do not have the moral muscle to enable them to take a path so downright and final as this. When will Christians learn that to love righteousness it is necessary to hate sin? that to accept Christ it is necessary to reject self? that to follow the good way we must flee from evil? that a friend of the world is an enemy of God? that God allows no twilight zone between two altogethers where the fearful and the doubting may take refuge at once from hell to come and the rigors of present discipline?
by A.W. Tozer