- Joe Norton
Recipe for a Happy Eternity (10/4/2020)
First in a series of studies in Mark 8:34-37
“When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, ‘Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me’ ” (Mark 8:34).
For clarity of language, there could be no more precise direction than Jesus gives here—there can be no misunderstanding Him. And this message is to all potential followers—that is, to everyone who wants to be a true disciple: deny self, take up a personal cross, follow Him.
Self-denial means allowing something else—in this case, someone else—to be the most important person in our lives. We must forget ourselves and make own personal desires secondary to what Jesus wants.
Taking up a personal cross speaks to the fact that life happens—life presents each of us with situations that may not be pleasant. Jesus says don’t become weak—rather, stay strong during these situations and remain spiritually grounded, regardless of what happens.
Following Him means allowing His Word to direct every aspect of our lives since it is through His Word that He speaks to us today. Our eternal future depends on our response to Jesus’ directive in this verse.