Deny Yourself [Luke 9:23-24 Devotional]

Deny Yourself devotional cover image. abstract art with the words to luke 9:23-24 over it

How to Deny Yourself [Luke 9:23-24 Daily Devotional]

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“Then he said to them all: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.’ “

Luke 9:23-24

This is one example of Jesus saying that following him won’t always be easy. He says we’re supposed to deny ourselves and take up our crosses. When Jesus talks about a cross, he’s talking about a tool used for execution in ancient times, so this is not a pretty picture. It’s not pleasant having to deny ourselves the instant gratification that we’ve become so accustomed to, but that’s exactly what Jesus tells us to do. We’re promised life when we do, so the difficulty is always worth it.

How to Deny Yourself

Denying yourself doesn’t mean having a sad life. Jesus came for us to have a full life, so he wants the best for us. However, if you’re like me, you want everything right away. You and I live in a world that’s all about instant gratification, and Jesus wants you to counteract that. Refusing to deny yourself leads to selfishness and lack of care for those around you.

One way you can work on denying yourself is by fasting. I recommend an actual food fast because food is something that you actually need. Please do this safely, and consult a doctor to be sure you’re in good enough health to do this. Fasting social media and electronics is good, but you don’t need those things for survival. When you deny yourself food even for just a meal or just a couple hours, you are teaching your body that your spirit is in control.

So, whether you are able to fast food or need to abstain from something else, my encouragement to you is to learn how to deny yourself through little practices each day.

Prayer

Jesus, you gave your all for me. In light of that, I know it is reasonable for me to deny myself. Give me the strength to do that and take up the cross set before me. It’s in your name I pray, amen.

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