Pentecost 5
July 8, 2001
Luke 9:23
"The Daily Life of a Christian"

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And he said unto all, If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”

INTRODUCTION:  The Common view of the price of discipleship is that it is paid once one becomes a Christian - forsakes the past, renounces sin, and repudiates a former way of life. Luke adds the significant word, "daily". Every day is a Good Friday for a Christian.  Paul put it this way, "I die daily" The daily price of following Christ.

1.     Daily denial of self - John the Baptist reminds us; “I must decrease, he must increase”.  Such is the definition of the Christian’s life. Daily we must deny ourselves for the sake of Christ and His will and way.

This runs contrary to the ways of the world. The world says that you must look out for number one. Go for it the world says. Go for the gusto, make your own decisions, have it your way. Jesus, on the other hand, says: “Daily deny yourself”

“But look at what I’m giving up!” one might say. That is true. But you are giving up something for something better.  Sacrifice, surrender, and giving up something are all a part of self-denial; yet, to receive the true peace, which only the Savior can give, and to reap the benefits which He has promised the denial is worth it, well worth it.

Transition: Daily we must deny ourselves. Daily we must carry our cross.

2.     Daily carrying a cross.  Jesus speaks to us concerning His own sufferings and death. And so must His disciples be thinking how they must prepare for their own. We often meet with crosses in the way of duty; and though we must not pull them upon our own heads, yet, when they are laid for us, we must take them up, and carry them after Christ.

If it is well or ill with us, accordingly it is well or ill with our souls. The body cannot be happy, if the soul is miserable.  On the other hand; the soul may be happy, though the body is greatly afflicted and oppressed in this world.

Transition: Daily we must deny ourselves. Daily we must take up our cross. Daily we follow Christ our Lord and our Redeemer.

3.     Daily following Jesus – Notice who leads us. It is the shepherd. We do not go it alone. We do not lead, the Savior leads. We follow in His path according to His Word and way.  As our good and gracious shepherd He will lead us to safe pastures and still waters. He will direct our path and lead us to pools of living water. True, the world might not understand this way of living; however, when the Shepherd leads us all will be well, all will be well with you.

Conclusion:  The words of the Savior are quite clear. May we heed these words and daily follow them. Begin and end each day by denying self, taking up your cross, and follow the Savior.  Such is the prescription of the Great Physician our Savior Jesus.

+ Soli Deo Gloria +