Discipleship – Centered In Self-Denial

With what shall I come to the LORD And bow myself before the God on high? Shall I come to Him with burnt offerings, With yearling calves? Does the LORD take delight in thousands of rams, In ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I present my firstborn for my rebellious acts, The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God? – Micah 6:6-8.

“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.” – Galatians 2:20-21.

To Prove It

Niccolò Machiavelli, sixteenth-century Italian political theorist, wrote The Prince, a book about a ruler who lets no scruples deter him in his ascent to power. The very term Machiavellian has since been synonymous with treachery, deceit, and expediency. As an example of that concept, Machiavelli said that an ambassador was a good man sent abroad to lie for his country. He dedicated The Prince to Lorenzo De’ Medici, Florentine statesman, ruler, and patron. It behooved any supplicant to offer something precious to his benefactor, the author said, and his gift was The Prince, valuable to him and, he hoped, to his patron.

When we come to God, we too must bring something of great value. However, we possess but one commodity that both we and He treasure above all: self. We cannot offer Him gold or riches, for the are of no value to Him. Nor can we bring fame or success or any of the thousand trinkets and toys we value, for He treasures nothing of the kind. Only one possession can satisfy our need to give the inestimable: self. We come to God just as we are, knowing He will never demand more. But we come with self crucified, because He will never accept less.

Courtesy of Speaker’s Sourcebook of New Illustrations by Virgil Hurley copyright © 1995 by Word, Incorporated. Used by permission.
*Unless otherwise noted, Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Applicable Quotations

When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die.  There are different kinds of dying, it is true; but the essence of discipleship is contained in these words. – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Jesus invited us, not to a picnic, but to a pilgrimage; not to a frolic, but to a fight. He offered us, not an excursion, but an execution. Our Savior said that we would have to be ready to die to self, sin, and the world. – Billy Graham

If we were willing to learn the meaning of real discipleship and actually to become disciples, the Church in the West would be transformed, and the resultant impact on society would be staggering. – David Watson

What our Lord said about cross-bearing and obedience is not in fine type. It is in bold print on the face of the contract. – Vance Havner

About Roland Ledoux

Pastor of Oasis Bible Ministry, an outreach ministry of teaching, encouragement and intercessory prayer from the Holy Bible, the written Word of God and author of the ministry website, For The Love of God. He lives in Delta, Colorado with his beautiful wife of 50+ years and a beautiful yellow lab whom they affectionately call Bella.
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