Matthew 16:24 - Deny Self Pick Up Your Cross Follow Jesus.

Matthew 16:24 (NKJV) Then Jesus said to His 
disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him 
deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow 


If You Want to Follow Christ.
   The cross has become a symbol of many 
things today. We see it depicted as a religious 
icon and in ornate jewelry. Yet the real cross of 
history was the symbol of a very cruel death. For 
people of the first century, the cross was a hated, 
despised symbol. 
   The Romans crucified many people on the 
roads leading into their cities as a warning to 
anyone who would dare to defy the powers of Rome. 
   So, when Jesus said to His disciples in 
Matthew 16:24, If anyone desires to come after 
Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, 
and follow Me (NKJV), the meaning was not 
lost on them. 
   Jesus made this statement at Caesarea 
Philippi, after He predicted His betrayal, 
crucifixion, and resurrection. At this point, Simon Peter 
took an authoritarian position and began to 
rebuke Jesus, saying, Far be it from You, Lord; 
this shall not happen to You! (verse 22 
   Essentially Peter was saying, Avoid 
the unpleasant! Avoid the difficulty! Dont 
give up anything! Lets just continue as we 
have been up to this point. 
   But Jesus was saying to Peter and the 
others, Look, if you want to be my disciples, 
then you, too, will have to deny yourself and 
take up your cross. Yet as you do that, you will 
find life as it was meant to be lived. 
   Sometimes we identify whatever is 
bothering us or plaguing us as our cross to bear. But 
that isnt correct. The cross symbolizes the 
same thing to every person: it speaks of dying to 
self, of putting Gods will before our own.  
   The meaning of life, the purpose of life, 
is to know God. The best life to live is the 
Christian life. And to live it the most effectively, 
we must take up our cross and follow Jesus 
Christ. [Greg Laurie from Harvest Ministries; 


Let God Take the Drivers Seat
   Anyone who intends to come with me has 
to let me lead. Youre not in the drivers 
seat; I am. Matthew 16:24 (The Message) 
   The key to stress reduction in your life 
is to let go and let God. So how do you do 
this? You make Jesus the manager of your life. 
   The problem is, we usually want to be the 
manager of our own lives, and so we argue and 
disagree with God. We think we know whats best. 
The reason youre under a lot of stress is 
that youre constantly fighting God in your 
mind - I know God says to do this, but I want 
to do that instead! 
   Every morning when you wake up, you have 
a decision to make: Whos going to be in 
charge of your life? Whos going to be in control 
- you or God? Whos going to call the shots 
- you or God? Every day, moment-by-moment, you 
are making this decision. When you choose to 
make yourself the manager of your own life, it 
causes conflict, confusion, and stress. 
   Jesus says in Matthew 16:24, Anyone 
who intends to come with me has to let me lead. 
Youre not in the drivers seat; I am (The 
Message). Heres what Christians tend to do: When we 
become believers in Christ, we give him the 
drivers seat. But then we promptly hop into the 
backseat and become backseat drivers. Were 
constantly giving him advice like, No, turn this 
way. Stop. Wait. Faster! I want to go that way. I 
want to see that sight. 
   Many years ago, Kay and I took dancing 
lessons. The instructor told us one of the biggest 
problems couples have is letting the other lead. When 
theyre both trying to lead, theyre stepping on 
each others feet all the time, and it 
doesnt look very pretty. 
   Your life doesnt look very pretty when 
youre trying to help God lead. Instead, let God be 
God and make Jesus the manager of your life. 
[Daily Devotional by Rick Warren: 

Is Christianity Worth It?
   What profit is there if you gain the 
whole world - and lose eternal life? What can be 
compared with the value of eternal life?  
Matthew 16:26 (TLB)
   The Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 
15:19, If our hope in Christ is good for this 
life only and no more, then we [Christians] 
deserve more pity than anyone else in all the 
world (GNT). 
   Why does Paul say this? For one thing, it 
isnt easy to live for Christ in a world that 
doesnt like Christ.  
   So heres one of the most important 
questions you can ever answer: Is Christianity worth 
   Everything in life has a price tag. 
Anytime you say yes to something, youre saying no 
to something else. Is the prize worth the price 
of following Christ? 
   In Matthew 16:26 Jesus says, What 
profit is there if you gain the whole world - and 
lose eternal life? What can be compared with the 
value of eternal life? (TLB). 
   Some people trade their souls for worldly 
things - like money, fame, and materialism. Your 
soul is worth so much more.  
   Paul realized this. When Paul shares his 
testimony in Philippians 3:7-8, he says, I once 
thought these things were valuable, but now I 
consider them worthless because of what Christ has 
done. Yes, everything else is worthless when 
compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ 
Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded 
everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I 
could gain Christ (NLT). 
   Paul realized nothing - no status, no 
amount of money, no pleasure - is worth more than 
   We need a new definition of success. 
Real, meaningful success isnt based on what you 
have, your appearance, or feeling good. Real 
success comes from living your life by Gods 
values. And it comes with the ultimate reward of 
enjoying eternity in heaven. [Daily Devotional by 
Rick Warren: https://pastorrick.com/devotional/] 


Matthew 16:24 - Deny Self Pick Up Your Cross 
Follow Jesus. 



If anyone has a paraphrase, commentary or 
testimony on this passage of Scripture, either 
personal or otherwise, I would be interested in 
hearing from you.  Thanks in advance and let's keep 
uplifting Jesus that all might be drawn to Him. Fred 


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