Tag: Follow Me

The Instrument of Self-Death

A.W. Tozerby A.W. Tozer

Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. Luke 9:23

I have long believed that a man who spurns the Christian faith outright is more respected before God and the heavenly powers than the man who pretends to religion but refuses to come under its total domination. The first is an overt enemy, the second a false friend. It is the latter who will be spewed out of the mouth of Christ; and the reason is not hard to understand.

One picture of a Christian is a man carrying a cross. “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23). The man with a cross no longer controls his destiny; he lost control when he picked up his cross. That cross immediately became to him an all-absorbing interest, an overwhelming interference. No matter what he may desire to do, there is but one thing he can do; that is, move on toward the place of crucifixion.

The man who will not brook interference is under no compulsion to follow Christ. “If any man will,” said our Lord, and thus freed every man and placed the Christian life in the realm of voluntary choice.

Yet no man can escape interference. Law, duty, hunger, accident, natural disasters, illness, death, all intrude into his plans, and in the long run there is nothing he can do about it. Long experience with the rude necessities of life has taught men that these interferences will be thrust upon them sooner or later, so they learn to make what terms they can with the inevitable. They learn how to stay within the narrow circular rabbit path where the least interference is to be found. The bolder ones may challenge the world, enlarge the circle somewhat and so increase the number of their problems, but no one invites trouble deliberately. Human nature is not built that way.

by A.W. Tozer

Sold Out for Jesus

David Wilkersonby David Wilkerson

The Lord told Peter, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me” (Matthew 16:24).

Clearly, belonging to Jesus’ church means more than merely believing in him. Many Christians today “cast a vote for Jesus,” but then they walk away and forget all about his lordship over their lives. Our Lord makes it clear that belonging to him involves living a life of self-denial and taking up a cross. “He who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me” (Matthew 10:38).

Jesus is saying, “If you are in my church, then be prepared to be persecuted and ridiculed if you hunger and thirst after me. And be prepared to deny yourself all fame, acceptance and worldly pleasure-seeking.” The fact is, Christ’s church has never been accepted by the world and it never will be. People will be uncomfortable around you and want to separate from your company. “Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you, and revile you … for the Son of Man’s sake” (Luke 6:22).

Jesus shows us the path that leads to true fulfillment: “Whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matthew 16:25). In other words, the only way you will find meaning in life is to be sold out for Jesus. Then you will find true joy, peace and satisfaction. Christ tells us, “When you come to me, you must die to self, to all ungodly ambition and ego. By faith you will be buried with me, but I will raise you up into new life!”

“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63). Only the words of Jesus can produce life and we must consume them as we would food and drink — by daily reading the Word of God and spending time in his presence.

by David Wilkerson