Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “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 and for the gospel will save it. Mark 8:34-35 NIV
I am willing to bet that these words uttered by our Savior sent many packing. Here we have the Son of God telling us that to be His follower we must deny our very self. I don’t believe many wish to do this. People have goals and ambitions for themselves. To sacrifice one’s desires in order to follow the Son of God just does not seem to make sense to them. Why would God ask us to sacrifice? Look no further than how Christ lived His life to answer this question. Christ always sacrificed for the betterment of those around Him. He would give His earthly life in order that we be saved from doom for our sinfulness. How can we live by giving up our lives? In order to receive eternal treasure, one must sacrifice earthly treasure. The heart cannot and will not follow both. One will become each one’s desire and attention. If your focus is on you, then how can you be of help to others and to the Lord? Live your life for the Lord and for the gospel. You shall reap a reward far beyond that which this world can provide.