Luke 9:23 - Living For Eternity.

Luke 9:23 - Living For Eternity.

Luke 9:23 (KJV)
If any man will come after me,
let him deny himself,
and take up his cross daily,
and follow me.

To deny oneself is not a call to a colorless life.  Rather, it 
is a call to deny the baser nature and pursue the higher spiritual 
levels of living to which Jesus points.  [Annotated SB]  

An entire sacrifice of the lower life, or a willingness to make 
such a sacrifice, is indispensable to the preservation of the higher 
life. The man who cannot bring himself to surrender the one for the 
sake of the other will eventually lose both. [Jamieson, Fausset, And 
Brown Commentary] 

God wants to bring you into union with Himself, but unless you 
are willing to give up your right to yourself, He cannot. "...let 
him deny himself...." Then the real life-the spiritual life-is 
allowed the opportunity to grow. [In His Time; My Utmost For His Highest 
re Mat.16:24] 

The cross was well known as an instrument of death, so it 
represents here the death or separation from the old life that must mark a 
disciple. [Ryrie SB] 

Calvary's cross was God's will for Jesus, so our "cross" is 
whatever God's will for us is each day. That will may involve pain, but 
often involves joy. There may be tears, but our cross also carries 
shouts and singing. The one thing that we can be sure of, however, is 
that our cross calls us to daily choose God's will in preference to 
our own, and thus demands the most significant kind of self-denial. 
[The 365-Day Devotional Commentary] 

To follow Christ faithfully, the Christian disciple must give up 
self-interest and die to the sin of disobedience. Failure to follow Christ in 
daily obedience reveals that Christ is not Lord. Such failure is sin. 
[Disciple SB] 

To follow Jesus requires self-denial, complete dedication and 
willing obedience. [NIV SB] 

Jesus demanded the consecration of the whole man to his cause. 
[Wycliffe Bible Commentary] 

Jesus' disciples are not to use their lives on earth for their 
own pleasure--they should spend their lives serving God and people. 
[Life Application SB] 

The Christian must realize that he is given life, not to keep 
for himself but to spend for others; not to husband its flame but to 
burn it out for Christ and for men. [Barclay Commentary] 

Salvation is God's gift to us because Jesus died for us on the 
cross. Discipleship is our gift to Him as we take up our cross, die to 
self, and follow the Lord in everything. [Wiersbe Expository 

Jesus places mankind in two categories:  those who follow Him 
and those who do not.  Those who follow Him are in the minority and 
must struggle against the current of our time in order to be obedient 
to Him.  The Lord calls His followers to a life of selflessness; 
the world encourages each to get all that he can.  The Lord calls 
His followers to a life of patient waiting; the world urges 
immediate gratification.  The Lord calls His followers to labor for the 
kingdom; the world strives for bigger, better, and the most now.  What do 
you do more than others?  Are you more selfless or selfish?  Are you 
waiting or striving?  Does what you do have eternal or temporal 
significance?  Think about it! [In His Time; Walk With Wisdom re Mat.5:47] 

Follow Me (v. 23). The Living Bible renders this beautifully and 
well: "Keep close to Me." 
How can you and I ever find the strength to reject the old in 
us, and decide daily to do God's will? By ourselves, we can't. But 
we have Jesus' invitation, "Keep close to Me." 
Jesus does not invite us to a "by-rule" way of life. Jesus 
invites us to personal relationship. As we do keep close to Christ, He 
encourages us and enables us. Jesus provides the power we need to live 
triumphantly, and to grow in that new life which, ultimately, is His. 
This, then, is both the way and the necessity of discipleship. 
To be or not to be disciples is the choice we face: on it hinges 
the finding or losing of our new selves. We can be disciples as we 
deny the old in us, choose God's will daily, and follow close to 
Christ. [Victor Teacher's Commentary] 

This is our destiny. We are to be like God throughout eternity, 
and, in this world, to become more and more like Him all the time. . 
. We can choose to live the old way, by the values and motives 
that move men in this world. We can live the old life, and let the 
new remain unnourished, buried deep within us. If we do so choose, 
what we lose is ourselves, our experience on this earth of the person 
we could have been. . . .Will you lose your old life, or are you 
determined to hold tightly to it, to try and save your "self"? Or will you 
let go, turn away from the old for Jesus' sake, and in so doing 
become the new, the true, you? [Victor Teacher's Commentary] 

You and I, warped as we have been by sin, are given the choice 
of holding on to the old self, or by complete commitment to God, 
experiencing a transformation that will make us loving, beautiful, and new. 
If we choose to reject the will of God, and hang onto the old self, 
we lose. But if we choose to reject our old self, and do the will 
of God, we win. And our prize is the new self Jesus will help us 
become. [The 365-Day Devotional Commentary]