Denial of Ourselves

Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus told his disciples, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their  cross and follow me.

Jesus speaks these words to followers. Those who have decided to  follow Jesus must continue to become Jesus' followers by daily  renouncing themselves and daily taking up their cross. Both the  renouncing and the taking up come from the act of following  Jesus.
                Renounce (Deny)
   Follow me<
                Take up
When we are intent on following where Jesus leads, we find that  we must renounce the lordship of ourselves, our own ideas, plans, agendas. All that truly matters is letting Jesus take us where  Jesus knows we need to go.

When we are intent on following Jesus, we find that we must take up our cross, our suffering, our dying, our struggles. No more running from the problems. No more not dealing. No more escapism. Following Jesus means "life on life's terms." Our true healing is not in escaping our problems but in taking them up and being overcomers through Jesus Christ. The world would have us take the broad, easy road but there is no healing or life there. Our healing comes to us in the act of following. (Not in the act of talking about following!)

Following Christ we:

Questions For Reflection & Sharing
  1. Why can our moods and attitudes dictate so much of our decisions and behavior? How does renouncing ourselves bring deliverance from the tyranny of mood swings?
  2. How does renouncing ourselves release us from fear?
  3. If following Jesus always involves renouncingand taking up, how can this help us to face our problems?
  4. How can this renouncingand taking up bring healing to our relationships?
  5. Share some experience of healing in your life - physical, emotional, spiritual - that came because you were simply responding to God's call. Because you were following Jesus instead of yourself!