We Need It: Self-Denial

This short devotion explains why self-denial is a non-negotiable aspect of faith in Christ. We cannot follow both Christ and culture.

Those of us who live in countries with a good standard of living have difficulty understanding self-denial. We call things like hot water and heat “necessities,” but for many people these are “luxuries.” 

But our feelings of entitlement go beyond physical comfort. We expect to be emotionally comfortable as well. That’s why so many who call themselves Christians are backing away from biblical truths, redefining Christian faith to suit our culture, or apologizing for their past belief in biblical standards. 

What are you going to do, dear reader? What if friends, family, or coworkers call you a “hater” because you care too much about homosexuals to approve behavior that damages their souls? What are you going to say if someone claims a woman has the right to kill her unborn child? How will you respond if a pastor or teacher says the Bible is not inerrant? What if someone calls the Bible racist, chauvinist, and outdated

What if you can profit materially or emotionally by remaining silent when God’s truths are mocked and reviled? If it hasn’t already happened, you are going to be asked to make these choices. Will you deny your comfort and popularity or will you deny the gospel? 

💙Beyond 1-minute for those who want more:

See the passages below that encourage you to make the right choice.

This short devotion explains why self-denial is a non-negotiable aspect of faith in Christ. We cannot follow both Christ and culture.
1. When we love Jesus and understand what He's done for us, we cannot help but deny our selfish goals.

Luke 9:23-26: "Then he said to them all: 'Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.'"

If you’ve heard the false teaching that Christians can be saved without being disciples, please don’t believe it. Christ’s final message to us was to make disciples, not halfhearted believers. In fact, He commanded us to make disciples and teach them to obey everything He commanded them to do (Matthew 28:19-20).

2. Christ died to save us from the evil beliefs of unsaved and compromised man. His grace gives us the strength we need to stand firm.

Titus 2:11-14: "For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say 'No' to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good."

3. Jesus is not surprised by these hard choices. He’s warned us about them. 

Matthew 10:22: "You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved."

4. We must stand firm or we will lose our Christian witness.

John 15:5-6: "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned."

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