Tuesday, January 10, 2023


We confuse self-denial with self-discipline.  Self-discipline is a resolution to control ourselves so that we can achieve a self-assigned goal.  Self-denial for the sake of the life of Christ within us is a different calling, in some ways, nearly the opposite of self-discipline: it is a falling back rather than a pushing forward.  In releasing our own desires into His hands, we fall back into His will and then--only then--in Jesus' Name we press on (see Philippians 3:14).

When Jesus calls us to deny ourselves there is a dual challenge; we are also to take up our crosses and follow Him.  Denying ourselves some desired escape or pleasure is worthless apart from the commitment to follow Jesus.  It is an exchange; my thoughts for His thoughts, my way for His way, my plans for His.  As we seek to honor Christ in thought, word, and deed, the pleasure of abiding more closely to Him becomes more gratifying than any earthly pleasure.  


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