By: Mike Riley

“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it” (Matthew 16:24-25).

Few people, it seems, realize that self-denial has anything to do with their religious doctrine. It does, nevertheless. One of man’s most stubborn inclinations is to exercise “his own will” in religion (Colossians 2:23), as in everything else. This must be denied when one is obedient to Christ (Matthew 16:24).

Christian worship must be according to truth (John 4:24). Since God’s Word is truth (John 17:17), God’s Word must determine the “means of expression” as we worship Him. God wants our devotions, but he delights in them only when they are in obedience to His Will (1 Samuel 15:22).

If any man will come to the Lord, let him “deny himself” (or his own will) and learn what the Bible teaches him to do to be pleasing to our Heavenly Father (Matthew 7:12,21,22,23; Matthew 16:24; Romans 12:1; Revelation 22:14).