GIVING UP TO GO UP
Our beloved friends, I welcome you to today’s broadcast. It is our prayer and wish that these messages coming over the air will enable you to live in conformity with the image of our LORD JESUS CHRIST. We believe this Word – the power in the Word will affect your life for good.
Our topic today is, Giving Up to Go Up.
GIVING UP TO GO UP
We will be reading from the Book of Luke 9:23-27
23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
24 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. 25 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? 26 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels. 27 But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the kingdom of God.”
Let us pray
Mighty FATHER, we believe YOUR Word. We ask, O GOD our FATHER, that the entrance of YOUR Word will bring light, will bring salvation, will bring healing, will bring deliverance, to YOUR People who are reading and give them adequate information which will transform into wisdom and bring the salvation which our LORD JESUS CHRIST has given to us…in JESUS Mighty Name I pray. AMEN!
Giving up to go up!
By the time we finish this sermon you will understand the topic better. But let’s say that to do well at few things one must give up many other things. To do well at few things in life you must of necessity give up many other things so that you can concentrate on those ones you want to do well. Any professional who is a success today must have given up certain things in order to be successful in that area. CHRIST our Master calls us to deny oneself – give up oneself to enable us go up with HIM. Giving up oneself is even the heart of worship. The heart of worship of our LORD JESUS CHRIST is to give up oneself. We cannot do more than HIM; that’s what HE did. That’s what HE did. HE gave up HIMSLEF. This is called surrendering. Surrendering.
Surrender is an unpopular word in our age or generation. It is no more in vogue. But, it is of necessity, if we must follow CHRIST. It is disliked by many as well as submission and self-denial. In line with self-denial and surrender and submission is yielding and obeying. These are no more in vogue in our time. But surrendering to GOD is the natural response to GOD’s amazing love and mercy. We surrender to HIM, not out of fear or duty, but in love: because HE first loved us; HE first denied HIMSELF. HE set a worthy example.
Hear what the bible said about JESUS in The Book of Philippians 2:5
5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
In order to go up JESUS gave up something. HE humbled HIMSELF; HE made HIMSLEF of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, took up the death on the cross, became obedient to death – even the worst type of death. Why has it become so difficult for believers, including members of notable churches, to deny themselves along biblical lies that, we are commanded to do so?
What does it mean to deny oneself? Denying oneself at the expense of or for the sake of JESUS being glorified. That is the chief purpose for which we are created. We are called to deny ourselves and esteem others better than ourselves and live a CHRIST-like life for HIS glory. To deny oneself is to say no to yourself and yes to GOD.
How does one deny oneself?
Notice that our text says in verse 23, HE said to all, not just to the disciples or to the Apostles, but to all – to all – including you, if anyone is really serious about following me: following JESUS or coming after ME, he must deny himself and by necessity take up his cross daily. That is, there should be a daily undertaking, not just on occasions or when it is convenient. It is a daily undertaking to follow JESUS – to deny oneself.
To deny oneself is to deny what we want and sometimes what we need. Notice also that you must take up CHRIST’s cross. And there are characteristics of the cross of CHRIST – what it signifies.
- It signifies that JESUS lived for others. The cross of CHRIST showed that HE lived for others.
- HE died for sinners. HE died for sinners.
- HE gave HIS life willingly for those who didn’t deserve good. HE laid down HIS life willingly for those who didn’t deserve it.
- And the fourth thing that emanates from this issue of The Cross of CHRIST is, putting your interest behind the interest of GOD – putting your interest behind the interest of GOD. That’s why in Luke 9:24-29 the bible adds, what shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his life? What is the gain? What have you gained? Of course you will end up losing your life to hell fire. But if we lose friends for JESUS’ sake, if we lose any other thing for the sake of the Kingdom of GOD, we will save ourselves for eternity – we will save ourselves for eternity.
Quite a number of us are guilty of the sin of denying HIM before others. If we fail to proclaim JESUS as our LORD and Saviour when there is an opportunity to do so we are guilty of denying HIM by our silence. The sin of silence is a sin of omission; and it is no different than the sin of commission. We are still going to be held accountable. The call today is: deny yourself, not CHRIST. Deny yourself – not CHRIST. Why are you saving yourself from humiliation or embarrassment by refraining or denying to tell sinners that they need to repent. If you do not deny yourself definitely you will deny CHRIST. If we deny ourselves we will not deny CHRIST.
We read in The Book of Luke 11:23
23 He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.
If you are not gathering, if you have not queued into The Kingdom Business, if you have not queued into the commission – the commission of our LORD JESUS CHRIST: the commission of The Kingdom of GOD – you are scattering. If you have not entered into laboring for men, for women, for youth, for children, for the souls of men and women and children and youth you might as well be scattering. If you are not participating in the realization of the great commission, then you are guilty of the sin of the great omission.
I plead with you. I plead with you to give up – give up yourself so that you can go up with the LORD.
The areas we can practice self-denial
Let me mention few. They are not exhaustive.
Become personally involved in the lives of others. Try to spend a chunk of your time in building Godly relationships. You might as well invite friends to your house for lunch or for dinner, as the case may be, but with the aim to fraternize with them and tell the story of our LORD JESUS CHRIST.
I don’t know why so many people in the church today are not fully committed in a service group: in evangelism, in choir, in praying group, in the visitation group, in the prison ministry. Quite a number of persons after service disappear and appear the next Sunday. You need to give up something in order to go up. Volunteer to help in children ministry. Be regular in studying the bible and in prayer gatherings – so that you can grow.
Lastly, let me say that, you can give to the course of widows, orphans, support this radio ministry, provide food or medical assistance to the vulnerable. As you do so give up something: give up time, give up your life, give up resources in order to go up.
That’s what our message today is.
Let us pray
Heavenly FATHER, the FATHER of our LORD JESUS CHRIST, we pray, O GOD our FATHER, that YOU impress in the hearts of YOUR people to learn to give like YOU who denied YOURSELF in order to come down to earth to save us, save mankind. And YOU said, YOU have left us an example that we should follow in YOUR steps. Grant that we learn, O GOD our FATHER, this particular attitude of denying ourselves for the sake of the Kingdom of GOD…in JESUS Mighty Name I pray. AMEN!