The first time I ever taught a Bible study it was to secondary school age youth, and the topic I chose (from my limited memory anyway!) was ‘Deny Yourself’.
You might wonder why I chose that topic and I don’t even remember myself now, but I think it is probably because to me it seems such a major part of the Christian life… which in our culture we have largely forgotten.
We talk about how important is is to have ‘me time’, to take a break and to pamper ourselves. Of course it is important to look after ourselves so that we can be our best for other things.
But I think we are in danger of being so absorbed in the world’s self-centredness that we forget what Jesus said about denying ourselves:
‘Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.’
This is the first verse in our Scripture Memory Ministry Training pack, because as part of ministering to others we need to deny ourselves and put others first. But also when we follow Christ we follow Him in taking up our cross.
It doesn’t sound that attractive of a life – but look at the promise attached to it: ‘Whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.’
Part of 'A Verse to Memorise' on Mondays