Scripture Reading — Matthew 16:24–28
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny them-selves…”
—Matthew 16:24 —
Believers in Christ face the challenge of being desensitized to the filth in the world around them. The line between what is holy and unholy often becomes unclear. In the midst of the corruption and sin in our world, how can we be re-sensitized to live holy lives for the Lord?
Jesus explains, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves…”
And what does it mean to deny ourselves? It means putting to death our sinful nature and putting on the spiritual nature of new life in Christ (Ephesians 4:14-5:20). We cannot do this on our own, but all of this is made possible because Jesus came to live among us, fully human, and to die in our place so that we can be freed from the slavery of sin and the curse of death.
In Christ we are called to put sinful ways behind us—all immorality and impurity such as hatred, discord, jealousy, envy, rage, selfish ambition, greed, drunkenness, brawling, gossip, slander, and any kind of malice. Instead, we are to walk “in step with the Spirit” of God, bearing good spiritual fruit: “love, joy, peace, forbearance [patience], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-25).
Jesus is our example. He gave up his whole life for our sake, so that we might live. Will we give up our old, corrupt nature to live the full life God wants us to enjoy? In Christ we can!
O Lord, our souls thirst for you, the living God. Guide us to live for you. Our hope is in you, our God and Savior. Amen.