I'm not sure if you've heard the popular line, "Deny yourself, take up your cross daily and follow me." You may have encountered it in a sermon, while reading your bible or talking to a friend. It's one of the most emphasized commands of Jesus in the Bible. Would you believe that it is included in all the four gospels?
I am in a constant, or to be more precise, daily struggle to follow this particular command. One, denying yourself alone is already a challenge, two, doing it daily is even more extraneous and then three, adding a heavy cross to the walk makes it sometimes quite unbearable. I wrote in my journal what "denying yourself" means for me in practical daily living. As my pen moved from one line to the next, I realized that it isn't limited to sacrifices and sufferings. There's surprisingly much comfort and joy to it.
Come and take a glimpse of my journal.
Deny yourself when your mom requests you to go down two flights of stairs just to bring her a glass of water.
Deny yourself when little brother wants to watch tv and you have only one set in your room.
Deny yourself if you've made plans earlier and your dad asks you to go to a meeting with him.
Deny yourself when you're in an argument and both of you seem to be right.
Deny yourself in order to encourage a person.
Deny yourself in order to help wholeheartedly.
Deny yourself when someone you are not fond of is provoking you to a fight.
Deny yourself if your mommy and daddy are not okay with your sweetheart.
Deny yourself so you may lend your computer to your little sister.
Deny yourself to give way to the preference of a friend.
Deny yourself and listen to the opinions of others.
Deny yourself and seek to do, to think and to say what is most pleasing to God.
Deny yourself and work for the Lord.
Deny yourself whenever you wake up at the wrong side of bed, smile, everyday is a brand new gift from God.
Deny yourself even if only one person get to see and appreciate your work.
Deny yourself because you are not the lead, you are merely playing a supporting role to Jesus who says "Follow me."
Deny yourself because you were once dead to sin and has become alive only through Jesus Christ.
Deny yourself whenever you're afraid or anxious, focus on your big God who can move mountains and calm the raging seas.
Deny yourself whenever you don't know what to do and which step to take, trust and depend on the all-knowing God. He will make your path plain.
Deny yourself whenever you feel sad and lonely, turn to God who is the ultimate comforter. He brings joy in the morning.
Deny yourself if you lack motivation and encouragement to serve God, instead give yourself fully to the work of the Lord, because your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
Deny yourself whenever you feel weak and helpless, you have a mighty God who claims to be your strength when you are weak.
Deny yourself when the future seems bleak and colorless, trust that He is doing something more than what you can possibly ask or imagine that is at work within you.
Deny yourself when you become restless during your waiting time, God will keep you in perfect peace when your mind is stayed on Him because you trust in Him.
Deny yourself, take up your cross daily and follow Him.
Have you denied yourself today?