All for You—Surrender, Sacrifice, Serve Devotion

Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves” (Mark 8:34). What does it mean in the culture of today to deny ourselves? We live in a world that is all about me and what I can get. A look at commercials and ads shows us that in order to be somebody, we need to have the latest and greatest phone, car, tablet, or make-up. To deny ourselves seems counter to what we encounter in today’s world.

When I did a quick search of the word deny on my computer’s Review ribbon, I was struck by two directional phrases for the word’s meaning. Give up and turn down are phrases used in defining the word deny. What do we give up in order to follow Christ and live our lives all for Him? To deny ourselves, we must give ourselves up to God and His will for our lives. This may mean giving over our time, skills, talents, energy, or financial resources in serving Him. There are probably things that you have given up in order to teach Mission Friends. You may have given up attending a weekly adult Bible study at the same time, or given up that extra cup of coffee around the fellowship table. You give up your time to prepare and teach. Sometimes you go the extra mile to purchase supplies to use in Mission Friends. You give of your energy to make the mission stories interesting and the activities fun for your preschoolers. Consider each of these as an offering of sacrifice to God as you deny yourself in serving Him.

The other phrase used for deny is turn down. What do we turn down in order to follow Christ? In denying ourselves, we must turn down the temptations of Satan and the world around us. It is difficult to live a God-focused life when we are tempted to live in a me-focused way. To deny ourselves, we must look at our lives to turn down the habits, thoughts, and behaviors that do not bring glory to God.

Throughout this month, reflect on what it means to deny yourself. Are there things that you need to give up or turn down?

Father, Lead me to surrender my life to You each day by denying myself in order to follow You. Help me to give myself up to You and turn down the attitudes and actions that do not please You. As I teach Mission Friends, help me to give of myself so that preschoolers would see Christ in the way I follow Him. In the name of Christ I pray, Amen.

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