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Deny, Take Up, Follow
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Deny, Take Up, Follow

Tuesday, March 2, 2021


Luke 9:23 – “He was saying to them all, ‘If anyone wants to come after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me.’”

As a kid, I was privileged to grow up on a private lake that had only one other house on it, and I loved to go fishing with my dad. I learned that if we didn’t set an anchor for the boat at our favorite spots to fish, we’d often end up drifting away from where we wanted to cast very quickly. Now that I’m an adult, I’ve discovered human beings naturally drift from being on point, like my fishing boat. Drifting is a natural human tendency we must recognize to motivate us to put down anchors for our soul to keep us on point with God.

The early church devoted themselves to the Apostles’ teaching, fellowship with believers, communion, and prayer (Acts 2:42). These were anchors for their soul that required them to deny themselves certain things to pick up Jesus’ interests. Jesus had told His disciples, ‘This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you’ (John 15:12). The result? “Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe…and they would sell their property and possessions and share them with all, to the extent that anyone had need…and they were praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved” (Acts 2:43, 44-45, 47).

Have you been anchoring yourself to God’s ways or simply drifting with the world’s ways? The three greatest threats I see to the American church staying on point with Jesus is the cell phone, news, and youth sports. If one connection is going to be denied, for another connection to be taken up, God and His people are all too often on the losing end.


Heavenly Father, our Lord Jesus Christ, help us not to deny God things for good things; making them bad things. Holy Spirit, we need your guidance and strength in anchoring ourselves to Jesus’ priorities and interests. Show us where we are drifting and where to turn back. Amen.