“Then He said to them all, “If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me.”
Luke 9:23 HCSB

Someone once asked, “How much commitment should a Christian have for the gospel?” Our anchor text answers this clearly.

A Christian must not only be committed, he must deny himself. In other words, he must be invested in the gospel. What does this mean?

It means to be sold out; to have no reserve about a decision; to be all in; to be wiling to go anywhere and do anything for something; to give up everything in order to achieve a goal.

So you see that being invested in the gospel is no joke at all. Jesus says to every of His followers “Take up your cross daily.”

It begs a question of the weight of one’s decision to follow Him. One should ask “How heavy is a cross?”

According to a source, “the entire weight of the Roman Cross was well over 300 pounds. The crossbeam alone weighed between 75 and 125 lbs”. To make the picture clearer, 300 pounds is double the weight of an adult human; it is the size of gorilla and some baby elephants. That’s some weight over there.

Yet, Jesus tells us to carry this weight everyday. It is not always palatable. Abraham can testify; It’s not an easy task to leave one’s hometown to an unknown place or to attempt to sacrifice one’s son. (Genesis 12:1, 22:3)

What about the three Hebrew boys who were thrown into a burning furnace because of their faith in God? (Daniel 3:14,17)

Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den because he was sold out to God (Daniel 6:12).

Paul suffered severally for the gospel. See how he puts it in 2 Corinthians 6:4-10. Brace up, it’s a long read:

“But as God’s ministers, we commend ourselves in everything: by great endurance, by afflictions, by hardship, by difficulties, by beatings, by imprisonments, by riots, by labors, by sleepless nights, by times of hunger, by purity, by knowledge, by patience, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love, by the message of truth, by the power of God; through weapons of righteousness on the right hand and the left, through glory and dishonor, through slander and good report; as deceivers yet true; as unknown yet recognized; as dying and look — we live; as being disciplined yet not killed; as grieving yet always rejoicing; as poor yet enriching many; as having nothing yet possessing everything.”
(2 Corinthians 6:4‭-‬10 HCSB)

All these things Paul endured for the sake of the Gospel. We will have our own personal experience of daily carrying our cross.

Tomorrow, we will examine why a believer should be ready to go through these things but for now, it should be established that a believer must deny himself.

The believer cannot prioritize himself. He must be invested in this gospel and be ready to go through anything for it.