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Devo - Becoming a Christ-follower

Becoming a Christ-follower
Mark 8:34

Jesus tells us three things we must do to follow him. Once we do the first, the other two come easily. This devotion is taken from the second message in the Becoming a Disciple series, titled Become Disciples.”

Jesus says again, in Mark 8:34, “If any of you wants to be my follower (here’s what you need to do), you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me.” Follow Jesus. That’s it. That’s the three requirements for becoming a Christ-follower.

I think it’s really significant that Jesus begins with the “you must give up your own way…” do you see it? “If you want to be my follower, you must give up your own way.” I believe Jesus starts with that because it is the absolute hardest thing we can ever do – is to give up our own way.

Listen, I’ll tell you this right now. If there’s something we absolutely don’t want to give up, it’s our own way. I’ll give up a lot, but I’m doing things my way. I’m doing what I want. I’m doing them my way. And I’m doing them when I want to do them. Right? Because I’m in charge. That’s what we want. That’s called the sin nature.

And so, Jesus starts with this statement, “If you want to follow me, you must give up your own way.” And I really think that this is so critical because if we can embrace this “giving up our own way,” then the next two requirements are really easy. They fall right into place; there’s no struggle. So, this is why I believe Jesus starts with this.

The literal translations say, “…deny your self.” “If you want to be my follower, you must deny yourself.” Self is the word that the Bible uses to refer to your flesh, to refer to your sin nature. It’s the thing in you that causes you to focus on your “self.” Have you ever had that problem? “It’s all about me.” Right? We do this naturally. We focus on ourselves. This is the thing that causes you to care most about your “self.”

This self-nature is what causes you to make decisions for your “self.” For your own benefit. It’s what causes you to live for your “self.” This is what I want. This is what I want to do. This is what I’m going to do.

And Jesus says self must go! Why? Because you can’t follow “self” and follow Jesus. They are in direct opposition to each other. And so, “self” must die, and as you grow in your following of Jesus, then “self” is supposed to die, and the life of Jesus is supposed to increase.

Self dies – Jesus comes alive – We have a transformed follower of Christ.