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,
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
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/]
LINK FOR FURTHER STUDY ON THIS PASSAGE
Matthew 16:24 - Deny Self Pick Up Your Cross
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
LINKS WORTH CHECKING OUT
Most Important Decision in Life:
Steps to Peace by Billy Graham:
A Man without Equal by Bill Bright:
Seeking God Made Real:
Prayer Made Real:
Importance of Choice:
http://creationhealth.com/CREATION-Health/Choice [click on video]
Medical Seminar on Healthful Living by David
DeRose, MD, MPH:
LINKS FOR BIBLE STUDIES
Lifting Up Jesus Bible Studies:
Amazing Facts Bible Studies:
Hope Awakens Bible Study Guides:
Glow Tract Video Bible Studies:
LINKS FOR BIBLE PROPHECY SEMINARS
Islam and Christianity in Prophecy, The
Third and Final Conflict by Tim Roosenberg:
Unlocking Bible Prophecies by Cami Oetman of
Adventist World Radio: https://www.awr.org/bible
Revelation Now by Pastor Doug Batchelor:
Hope Awakens by John Bradshaw of IIW:
Prophecies Decoded by Pastor Ron Clouzet: