“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” Matthew 16:24-25
How would you describe your relationship with God? Is it flourishing or floundering? Do you base your answer on what God has done for you, or on what you have done for Him?"
Matthew 16:24 says that denying self is a prerequisite for discipleship. Jesus personified self-sacrifice by prioritizing His relationship with His Father above all things, despite Satan’s tempting lure of immediate power, possession, and prestige. Willingly, Jesus aligned His will with His Father’s will, forfeiting the comfort of His own life. It cost Him everything. Today, Jesus implores us to do likewise.
Although we primarily prioritize self, He has appointed us as unworthy benefactors of His divine affection and inheritance: He chose us to enter His Kingdom; He bought us with His blood; He adopted us into His family; He called us for His purpose. Our lives are not our own. As Christ followers, we profess that He is our Redeemer, Lord, and King. Surely, His sovereign, gracious love demands our all—our selfless, complete devotion—anytime, anywhere, at any cost, and to do anything.
If Jesus gave up everything and is truly worth everything, then the way to evaluate your relationship with Him is to ask yourself this: am I giving Jesus everything?
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for choosing me. Help me to understand the importance of prioritizing and cultivating my relationship with You. Create in my heart an insatiable desire to faithfully study and obey Your Word.
Today, nurture your relationship with God by prioritizing fifteen minutes to reading and meditating on Matthew 16:24-25. Ask God to reveal areas of your life you need to surrender. What does surrender look like in your life?
What has God been teaching you lately? Make a comment below. Encourage others!
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