‘Let him deny himself’ (MATTHEW 16:24)
It is required by Jesus that every disciple should practise self-denial. We must deny and crucify the workings of self-righteousness, and venture alone upon His work and worth for our salvation. And we must mortify the pride of reason and intellect, and believe as His word reveals, and walk as His word directs.
Our nearest relatives, dearest friends, and choicest comforts must be resigned, if they are opposed to His glory and the furtherance of His cause. A Christian must lay everything at the feet of Jesus and say, “Lord, do with it as thou wilt.”
We are not our own, nor is anything we have our own; it is the Lord’s. Our appetites, our pleasures and pursuits, must all be brought into subjection to the obedience of Christ. His glory is to be sought at all times, in all things, under all circumstances, and when this is done, we are safe and happy. The servant must obey his Master, and the child submit in all things to the wise, judicious, and loving Father.
But for whom am I called to deny myself? For Jesus, who lived and died to save me, and is now in heaven interceding for me; and who is the great pattern of self-denial, having humbled Himself even unto death.
Beloved self must be denied,
The mind and will renew’d,
Passion suppress’d and patience tried,
And vain desires subdued.
THE DAILY REMEMBRANCER by James Smith (1802-1862)
‘On the last day of this year, I wrote in my diary as follows … “Art thou more humbled before God under a sight and sense of thy sinfulness? Is thy temper, disposition, and will, more subdued by grace? Does grace reign and sway its sceptre over all thy powers? Is sin more hateful, death less fearful, and heaven more desirable? Is the Bible more prized, and art thou better acquainted with its contents, living under the influence of its holy precepts? Is holiness and entire devotedness to God more sought after?” [Continued tomorrow]