Rather do we believe that there are vast difficulties in the way of a thorough and complete adoption of the truth in Jesus. But if we consider likewise that we are bought with a price, we may infer thence that we are not our own, but are for ever at the pleasure of Him that ransomed us. I undertook to offer such reasons and arguments as I apprehend may be of force to excite you to the practice of this important duty.1. The present delights will in time grow out of date, and some others must be sought for. We are taught by this command that the daily trial must not be passively endured merely, but readily borne. Do not say that this is all fanciful. And he said to them all Not only to all the disciples, but "to the multitude", as the Arabic version renders it, who were now called unto him, with his disciples, as is clear from ( Mark 8:34) , any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his Anything than hinders your largest and fullest service for Christ. It is heroic. The sun walks regally through the heavens, pouring abroad day; and the stars shining all night, seemingly say: "We are suns; yet even our opulence of glory we give to others; our very nature is to shine." I undertook to offer such reasons and arguments as I apprehend may be of force to excite you to the practice of this important duty.1. We are free to refuse it. And of this sort are. P. 2. That was a gallant action which is recorded of Care the younger, a notable Roman captain, who, marching through the hot sands of Lybia, grew extremely thirsty; and when one of his soldiers brought him some water in his helmet, which he had got with great difficulty and pains, he poured it out upon the ground, as a testimony that he could boar thirst as well as his soldiers. If it mortifies a lower self-love, it is that a nobler self-knowledge may lift a meek and strong heart to God. Positive relationships were Jesus’ main ministerial strategy. Yes, a man's cross is just that which he finds it most difficult to yield.(G. Lesser afflictions would not awaken and rouse thee out of thy security, would not stir thee up to fly to God, and to beg mercy and pardon; even as men do not repair to a physician for a small indisposition, or to a surgeon for a scratch. From what we feel in ourselves, and what we see and hear of others, every person who has thought at all upon the subject must have been convinced that, circumstanced as we are, "it is good for us to be afflicted." It is so certainly in the nature of the thing itself, for patience lightens our burden; but it is much more so by the order and appointment of Providence. The thoughts of sinful men concerning life are utterly false; they are the exact contrary of the truth. And yet the temptation remains to avoid self-denial. No, you need not run after it. The fact is that just as we lose ourselves in the love of God, and just as we expend our powers and possessions in the cause of mankind, we enter upon and enjoy that which is the "life indeed." 1. Luke 9:57-62 Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, … Are not thy sins many, and often repeated? It presents the objects of trust, reverence, aspiration, and loyalty, not as abstractions, but concrete in the personal Christ; and thus introduces the peculiar and overpowering motive of Christianity, affectionate trust in Christ as a personal Saviour. Keep in touch with Him; grasp His hand; listen to His voice. Their calamities and distresses have been many, and of divers kinds.5. The very fact that he kneels in entire self-surrender to God, forbids abjectness to man. This side of a holy character necessarily receives immediate and large development in the Christian scheme of redemption by Christ's sacrifice and salvation by faith in Him. S. Barrett, B. We are taught by this command that the daily trial must not be passively endured merely, but readily borne. A. Why is discipleship so important? The greater ability and strength thou hast, the greater is the burthen which thou mayest expect to be laid upon thee. It is a command over the sensual passions of anger, fear, envy, jealousy, and irritable impatience, that other powers, which bring only strength and joy and love, maybe the masters of our being. The ill deeds of those who are dear to you is a cross. Luke 9:23 Sermon. Let us not immoderately lament and bemoan our condition, as if we were the only persons that had many afflictions heaped upon us. 4. The peevishness or perversity or jealousy of a dweller in your house you cannot escape — that is a cross. There is more hope of a fool, than of those who are wise in their own conceit. 4. It should be a great support and stay to our minds to consider the vast advantages which accrue to us by the bodily and temporal crosses which are our allotment in this life. The path is plain. Some objections which may be raised in defence, or at least in excuse, of impatience. What are we to do with them all? Page Roberts, M. Because selfishness brings ultimate loss. At last they are saved, and the land rejoices. Scripture Reading: Luke 9:21-26 "If Anyone Desires" Intro. It is self-sufficiency, the opposite of Christian faith. 7. and lastly: If we would seriously consider that heaven shall be the reward of self-denial, this would make the performance of this duty easy. It prescribes the way to real happiness.3. Self may be beaten by Christ in the outworks of life; it may retreat from Christ; it may yield one point after another; or, to vary the metaphor, you may throw open room after room in the soul to Christ until all the soul is open save one little room: into it self has retreated; there it has entrenched itself. While sinful affection rules the heart, religion comes to the sinner an outward law, bristling all over with prohibitions, and every touch draws blood; it goes against the grain of every desire and purpose; every object which it presents, and every duty which it requires, is repulsive; it is self-denial from beginning to end. Are there, then, any principles which will guide us in answering the question, "What is my cross?"1. Every Christian for Christ's sake is to deny his personal self (i.e., his soul, the undue exertments of the understanding, will, and affections; his body, i.e., all its carnal and sensual appetites, so far as they are hindrances to virtue); his relative self, his father, mother, wife, friends, and acquaintance, when they tempt him to vice; his worldly self (if I may so call it), houses, lands, goods, possessions, honours, pleasures, and whatever we are wont to set a high value upon; about all these this grace is commendably exercised. "Let him deny himself" — not cripple or degrade self, but govern it. There is a crucial test in the kingdom of Christ.The dignity of cross-bearingA. (5) It is to be considered that no affliction is so great but God can deliver thee out of it; and 'tis His usual method to magnify His power and wisdom by delivering His servants out of the greatest. Take the consequences of open avowal. Are there, then, any principles which will guide us in answering the question, "What is my cross?"1. That the Christian's path in this life is one of continued trial.2. That you may take up the cross, see that you deny yourselves. The law of self-sacrifice is only the law of love seen on the reverse. No, you need not run after it. If we were used to one sort of affliction only, it would become familiar to us, so that we should not mind it, and consequently it would not be serviceable to us; as sometimes physic of one sort, if often taken, loses its virtue.4. So are their comforts: as the fore-mentioned apostle testifies, "As our sufferings abound, so our consolation also aboundeth" (2 Corinthians 1:5).6. Under His use it has become proverbial. It prescribes the way to real happiness.3. To us Christians the cross is the symbol of salvation, self-devotion, obedience to our Father, loyalty to our Saviour. 6. "Even Christ also pleased not Himself." 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