THE DAILY CALL OF JESUS – UPON YOUR  LIFE.

The cross was not a relic, or a piece of Jewelry. It was an instrument of death. When the condemned man was found, he said good bye to his family, possessions and left them all behind. No man ever came off the cross alive when crucified! The cross was an instrument of death! Jesus said,”…and He said to them all, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me,”- Luke 9:23

THE CALL OF JESUS – UPON YOUR DAILY LIVING Requires three attitudes that become habitual actions – which can be summed up in daily –
* Self denial,
* Self sacrifice and
* Self submission to Jesus!

“IF ANY MAN WILL COME AFTER ME…” Here is Jesus Invitation, His call. It is not about self fulfillment,  but service to Christ. Christ Business, Christ occupied. His call is to “COME AFTER ME…” Don’t think you can live apart from coming after Him. Don’t believe you can go before Him. You want to live in the security of eternal significance, then it is time to come to your senses and choose  to obey His command ,” … Come After Me.” This is a life and death decision. It is also preparation to be of use to the LORD in passing on to those who are dead in their sins and in need of the truth that Jesus chooses to set free. His command to you and through is Word to others is also and always, “…Come After Me…” Is A command to be obeyed! That does not mean a bed of roses, listen to Jesus when He says, “…Be on your guard against men; they will hand you over to the local councils and flog you in their synagogues. On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. All men will hate you because of Me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved”- {Matthew 10:17-22}

Jesus shows following Him will cost. For the disciples, It  meant physical suffering. It afforded them opportunities to testify before those in high authority. It will bring division in families at times. It will mean being mistreated, hated, and divisive relationships. There is a cost to following Jesus, He says! And for those of us who follow Him today there is a cost. Some of the above may happen, but be assured, as Paul said – “Those who desire to live Godly shall suffer persecution.” There is at times, suffering involved, rejection, misunderstanding, hate, slander, as part and parcel of Coming After Him in obedience.

Its not about coming to Jesus so He may be your servant, but you abandoning yourself, dreams, desires, plans to seek to be a man, woman boy, girl, INTENT on following Jesus which implies…

1. DENY YOURSELF-
self denial, “arnēsasthō,” is a very strong expression, literally “to disown something.” It was used to describe  you refusing to associate with someone. Wanting nothing to do with them Not wanting their companionship. You need to refuse to associate with yourself. It is no longer self gratification, self exaltation, self first, self, self, self as the center and exalting crown of your living. You come to Jesus and say I no longer want to be associated or have companionship with self I want You to be my all and all. SELF DENIAL- in exchange for CHRIST EXALTED in your body whether by life or by death is your new pursuit- {Read Phil 1:20!}

** DENYING SELF- It involves an attitude towards self of  death to self-will, self-interest, and self-seeking. Jesus says in this verse to keep on denying self – (Luke 9:23)  The “way of the cross” is the way of death to our own interests, to prefer others for Jesus sake! -{Read 2 Cor 4:5}

**  DENYING SELF- IS TO LIVE TO BE AN OTHERS-CENTERED PERSON, – { Read Phil 2:3-4}.  Not perfection but a new direction in thinking and doing!

We live in a world where “self-promotion, self esteem, self first and foremost saturates the airwaves, magazines, books etc,. Jesus says to “DENY”- Disown self. Self as one’s “savior,” as one’s own “Lord,” as self-sufficiency and the focus and center of life. Self is to be disowned, denied, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life- all that this world seeks to promote and uphold as what “true” life is about and which desires to suck you into their value system as the way of life is to be identified, renounced, disowned. No more, by God’s grace will the occupation of self as preeminent and earthly things be my occupation. You get to the place you are sick of your sin, your own way’s, the futility of your life’s pursuits, you want to be free from the bondage of self as “king” with all its entrapment’s and enticements to sin that leave you further in guilt and enslaved to sin. You have had enough! Self fulfillment no longer my goal but I continually choose SELF DENIAL in order to be about the business of Jesus. No more will I live for those but rather I will deny myself, for Jesus Himself and His cause. IT IS NOT ABOUT SELF FULFILLMENT BUT SELF DENIAL- in order to pursue and accomplish CHRIST’S DESIRE’S, CHRIST’S GOALS AND CHRIST’S WILL AS PRIMARY IN MY LIFE. “For me to live is CHRIST…”{Phil 1:21}.”SET YOUR AFFECTIONS ON THINGS ABOVE WHERE CHRIST IS SEATED…”{Col 3:1-3.} LIFE IS CHRIST…!

 It is not self denial as an end to itself, but the central self the “will,”- as a means to an end which is following Jesus!

Self esteem? whether it be “healthy” or “poor” self esteem is an inordinate preoccupation with SELF and is spiritual bondage! No to self, but yes to Christ’s esteem of who you now are in relation to Him. View the phrases,”IN HIM…THROUGH HIM”  as you read and underline in Ephesians 1:3-13}.And note in verse 3 the response is to “Bless, Praise speak well of- HIM! Your esteem is based on God’s esteeming you as a result of His Son Jesus! As a result you are free to think and practice your living to esteem others more highly than yourself… and you are their servants for Christ sake.” {Read Phil 2;3-4; 2 Cor 3:5}

2. DAILY TAKE UP YOUR CROSS-

“The cross (stauros) was an upright stake driven in the ground to humiliate, shame, and execute people. The Romans made an art of crucifixion. The condemned had to carry the 110lb. cross beam on his shoulders to the place of execution (Luke 23:26), and it was affixed to the upright pole. Taking up one’s cross meant to carry the beam to the site of execution past a jeering mob. Jesus is speaking in strong rhetoric to make his point.”

Jesus is speaking spiritually– to have the same attitude every day you wake up! The cross was not about self promotion or self affirmation it was an instrument of death! And Jesus calls us to adopt in the spiritual realm the same way. Paul said, “we die daily that you might live,” Death to self promotion, self-interests that others may benefit spiritually!

No to self, yes to Jesus, what He says will be my intent and purpose to live. The cross was a way of execution that was brought into mankind way before Jesus lived. THE CROSS WAS A VERY GRAPHIC THING. A MAN CARRYING a wooden cross and been impaled to it. Jesus is saying, the cross speaks of COST. it may mean the cost of your life, suffering, belittled, ridiculed. The cross may not be physical today but the cross means your will is no longer “king.” Jesus “will” is KING for you. You live in submission to do His will. You have given your life, your rights, your all away to Him by faith and the life you now live is by faith in Him and for His purposes. He has exclusive rights to you! It means everything! A Life of  loving. willful sacrifice to Him and for Him! It costs you your very life to follow Me. It is not, “Jesus has a wonderful plan for your life, where every dream you want He is there to grant for you as come Jeanie in a bottle!”- He is speaking about the cost of following Him!

 “When Jesus said “Take up a cross,” they only thought of one thing: Horrible suffering, pain and death.  Jesus is saying, “This is how extreme your devotion has to be.  This is willingness to endure persecution.  This is willingness to endure hatred, hostility, rejection, reproach, shame, suffering even death.”  They knew exactly what He was talking about.  And be ready to do it every day.  Every day. “- John Mac Arthur.

Self Sacrifice is the new way of life. ” I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me….But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” -{Read Gal 2:20; 6:14}. For Paul he looked and made a calculation that the world system had nothing to offer him and for those who pursued the worlds system, values, they found no value in Paul. Paul was a Christ centered man which means a conscious choice of self sacrifice in order to be about Kingdom business. Misunderstood, ridiculed, hostility, no promotion in your job, mocked, laughed at, left out, these are all small prices but never the less painful because you have decided and daily take up your cross- death to self and yes to Jesus.

In dying CONTINUALLY TO SELF, we live. In LOVING Sacrifice we honor Him. Christ before self. Christ above all! Christ is Worthy!

Jesus is speaking about total commitment. Jesus does not want us accumulating things which are not used for His Kingdom, but which will one day burn up. His desire is we forfeit ourselves under His Control and live in loving sacrificial service to Him, if that means suffering and martyrdom for Him so be it! Some throughout the world do indeed lose their lives for allegiance to Him, others don’t.

But nevertheless the command to “take up your cross…” is a call to total commitment to Jesus Christ!

** Failing to deny yourself and take up your cross in order to obey Christ by preferring others is – a lost day!

3.” FOLLOW ME.” –
Literally, “Let him be following Me.”  It’s a continual pattern of  loving obedience.  Your will for self is out, your plans are out. Your life now finds freedom and true fulfillment in following the commands of Jesus from a heart of love and gratitude not as a means to seek to gain His merit but because He has gifted you salvation. Life now is about continually following Him. How can we know how to follow Him? His Word reveals Him -{Read Luke 24:27}. And we are continually changed by beholding Him-{Read 2 Cor 3:18}.

“He who has My commandments and obeys them he is the one who LOVES ME.” {John 14:21}. –

“You are My FRIENDS if you do what I command you.”-{John 15:14.}

“Rest in My Love – {John 15:10}.

His call is to obedience. Obedience is an expression of Love. Obedience is an expression of Friendship. Obedience means SUBMITTING TO HIM as LORD, MASTER TO FOLLOW HIM is an attitude to be adopted and an action to be exhibited. No, our obedience is not always perfect, but the intent of the heart is to follow obediently. And when we don’t, we confess our sin and begin again loving on Him being a Friend to Him by choosing to obey His Word.

THE CALL IS TO UTTER ABANDONMENT OF SELF IN ORDER TO UTTERLY DEVOTE THEIR LIFE TO THE  LOVING SACRIFICIAL SERVICE OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.

“If ANYONE would come after Me
let him DENY HIMSELF
TAKE UP HIS CROSS
AND FOLLOW ME” –  THE CALL OF JESUS HAS NOT CHANGED!

FALSE  DAMNING, DECEPTIVE CALLS IN “THE NAME OF CHRIST” FROM PULPITS.

Some in pulpits try and minimize so not to offend, but in doing so they substitute Jesus call with what is a man centered, demonic initiated and soul damning “assurance”- “I can have Jesus and do as I want. I can have my sin and Jesus too!”

Jesus call is so much different than the calls of today which amount to “come to Jesus, and He will make you happy and fulfill all your desires for your sake!”- That is ANOTHER GOSPEL, A FALSE GOSPEL, A DAMNING GOSPEL FOR THOSE WHO ACCEPT IT! The cries and scream’s in Hell of those who believed a lie will be heard for eternity.

“…and He said to them all, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me,”- {Luke 9:31}

THE DAILY CALL OF JESUS -UPON YOUR LIFE Requires three attitudes that become habitual actions – which can be summed up in daily –

1. – Self denial,

2. – Self sacrifice and

3. – Self submission to Jesus!

 

APPLICATION

1. – MEDITATE,  AND IF YOU REALIZE YOU HAVE NOT THEN BEGIN TO SUBMIT YOURSELF TO JESUS AND APPLY HIS WORD AND IN DOING SO… you express love, friendship, loyalty to Him who went to the cross to bear your sin, so you would not die in your sin!

2. – MEMORIZE this verse and

3. -PRAY  for opportunities to SHARE it.

4.- LIVE IT OUT – STUDY THE VERSE FOR YOURSELF…

The words of the Hymn writer come to mind….”All to Jesus I surrender, All to Him I freely give. I surrender all, I surrender all…”