Take up your Cross, Die to Self and Follow Jesus

Written by:  Amy Lynn
To die to self is to set aside what we want, and focus instead on loving God, doing His will, and valuing others as highly as we value ourselves. This moves us away from selfishness and towards being openhearted followers of Christ who care deeply for others.
We must turn our attention to the Lord, who is above all of our problems, troubles, and weaknesses. It is He who perfects us.
Can I honor others before myself? (Romans 12:10) Can I be secure in God’s love without public recognition? Can I let God be in charge of my reputation? Is God’s approval enough for me?
I was listening to a podcast the other day that opened with these four questions. I didn’t think much about them at the time, however, I found myself pondering them throughout the next few days. Usually when I can’t seem to get something out of my head, it’s because some part of whatever it was struck a cord. Maybe it’s something that bothers me because I know I need to do more work in that area, or maybe it’s something I’m not even consciously aware needs to change — Whatever it is, God is having me listen to it for a reason.
Jesus said “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow Me” (Luke 9:23).
Ever since I asked Christ into my life and was then baptized, I have tried to pay more attention to the things I do and say. In my opinion, dying to self expresses the true essence of the Christian life. Not only are we born again when it comes to salvation, but we also continue dying to self as part of sanctification. As such, dying to self is both a one-time event and a lifelong process.
Try denying yourself something each day. Start small. Maybe you decide to not drink pop for the day. Maybe you decide you don’t really need to buy the newest cell phone because the one you have works just fine. Perhaps you decide you will do your best to not get defensive when humiliated or ridiculed. As you do these things, watch how God will provide for your needs. You’ll be busy with other tasks and won’t even think about the pop you’re missing out on. You will be thankful that you don’t have to learn how the new phone works! These are small things, but they prepare us for bigger obstacles of faith that lie ahead.
Accept Jesus’ invitation to lose your self-focus today, and find the life that only He can give.
Lord, please help me be selfless. Help me to do Your will. Help me to find the companionship with You that I long for. Amen.

~Amy Lynn

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About Amy Lynn:
I have  been attending Oakwood since July, 2020, and have fallen in love with the Oakwood family. I am the mother to a beautiful little girl, Lea, and I divide my time between enjoying my daughter, working at Amazon, AA/NA, and church. I have been in recovery from drugs since  7/21/2016. My goal in life is to help others who are suffering from addiction, depression, PTSD, anxiety, etc. and to bring them to Christ. I am a certified Peer Recovery Coach and I have a background in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapies. I am so excited to become more involved at Oakwood!” – Amy Lynn
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One Response to “Take up your Cross, Die to Self and Follow Jesus”

  1. Ron Woody says:


    Thank you!! Too often the New Testament concept of “dying to self” is described in seminary terms and at a depth that doesn’t really strike home for most people. I’m grateful for your description of this as a gradual process (sanctification) that most often starts in small, every day, decisions (skip the pop, stick with the current phone, etc.) Until we master letting Jesus be Lord in these small decisions, it’s almost impossible to “take up our cross” in the major areas of life.

    Thanks again!


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