January 5, 2024

Matthew 16:24–26 (NKJV) — 24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone
desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and
follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever
loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he
gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in
exchange for his soul?
Transformation! Acceptance of Jesus offer of salvation is not just mouthing
words. It is a total transformation of one’s life.
Jesus is not telling His followers to deny themselves of things. What He is
saying is for His disciples to completely give themselves to Him.
A disciple of Christ is one who identifies with Christ. Many in professional life
wear uniforms. It tells others what their occupation is and who they work
for. Sports teams wear uniforms. The uniform of the Christian is the cross.
Many professing Christians wear crosses.
The true born-again Christian is one who has completely given himself to
Christ. Paul wrote in Philippians 3:7-10,
7 But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.
8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge
of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and
count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ
9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the
law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from
God by faith;
10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the
fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.”
And in Romans 12:1-2:
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present
your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your
reasonable service.
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the
renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and
acceptable and perfect will of God.
The acceptance of Christ as Savior is more than an intellectual choice to
follow Him. It is a total transformation of self. It is dying to self to allow
Christ to live in one’s life. It is emptying yourself of the worldly things so
Christ can live in your life.