Have you ever thought about denying yourself? Weren’t we all raised to think of ourselves first? I remember learning about moods, and how to live by what mood I was in. Isn’t that a selfish way to live? It’s very undisciplined.
I remember growing up (with seven younger brothers) and we argued to get our way, to be right, and to tell each other what to do! And if they did something mean to me they’d better run, because back then I didn’t go tell Mom. But the only time we denied ourselves as kids, was when Mom told us we couldn’t go back to the table for seconds until everyone had been served firsts.
Were you raised the same way, to think of yourself, and not others? It’s very selfish. Yet, God’s Word teaches us to deny ourselves. The following Scriptures are good to ponder and pray about.
“24Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
25For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
26For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
27For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.
28Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.”
I guess you could look at Verse 25 as referring to one who is martyred for their faith in Christ Jesus; but I look at it differently. I don’t think it is talking about physical death. I think it’s talking about setting aside those personal motives or yearnings for material gain that you can only obtain in the world through physical life, i.e. leaning on yourself, and instead, yearning for God’s wisdom and knowledge that only comes from God’s Word, taught by the Holy Spirit, that will stay in our spirits forever, even through eternity, i.e. leaning on God! Thus, denying ourselves to follow Christ.
What do you think the last verse means (28)? My bible says it is referring to the transfiguration that was a preview of the coming kingdom, which is written in Chapter 17, verses 1-13 of Matthew.
But the main point seems to be that we are supposed to be humble and consider ourselves as less than others, or in other words, consider others to be more important than ourselves. So if we allow others to be first, putting ourselves last, we then trust in God, and that He will take care of us and reward us with a greater blessing because of our kindness and obedience to His Word.
“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18 KJV