“34 And when He called the people to Him, with His disciples also, He said to them, ‘Whoever desires to come after Me, let Him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.'” Mark 8:34 (NKJV) Today we will talk about just the first part of this scripture, denying ourselves. Exactly what is Christ asking of us? How are we to deny ourselves? First of all, we must place Christ first in all we say and do. We must place Him above all, including our families and friends. That is never an easy thing,but Christ must come first in all things. Secondly, we deny ourselves what some would consider ‘worldly pleasures’. The world today says, ‘If it feels good, do it.’ Forget about whether it is moral, or decent, or agreeable to the Word of God and the words of Christ – if it feels good – do it. What may be considered ok in the world,and may have been pleasureable in our old lives, we must deny ourselves these ‘pleasures’ because we know that Christ’s way is better and the reward is worth more than anything this world has to offer. Finally, and to my thinking, most importantly, we must deny ourselves our own will. WE MUST SURRENDER TO GOD’S WILL OVER AND ABOVE ANYTHING ELSE! He has a plan and will for our lives. His will is perfect and let’s face it, HE KNOWS BETTER THAN WE DO! In surrendering to His will, we seek His guidance before all things we are considering. We seek His will in all aspects of our lives. We deny our free will, and surrender to His perfect and loving will and guidance. CHRIST NEVER SAID FOLLOWING HIM WOULD BE EASY, BUT THE REWARD IS WORTH MORE THAN ANYTHING IN THIS WORLD!