/ / / Some Difficult Words From Jesus that will Challenge Your Soul

Some Difficult Words From Jesus that will Challenge Your Soul

In the Book of Mark Jesus challenges us with some very difficult words that lay before us an adventure of a lifetime. Are you up to the challenge? #Biblestudy #Mark #WomensBibleStudy #GoodMorningGirls

I remember long ago, being at the McDonald’s slides and tunnels where the kids could run and play. At the end of each tunnel was a window where you could see the children playing inside.  One day my son (age 5) grabbed one of the little girls and put her in a headlock.  The little girl started screaming for her mommy and all the moms looked up and to my horror – there was my son holding this sweet little girl hostage right in front of the window!

I yelled up to him – “let her go”.

He did nothing and the little girl continued to scream for her mother.

Helplessly, I again yelled – “let her go”.

And still nothing.

By this time, the mother of the little girl was ready to enter the tubes to save her child and I was ready to run the opposite direction and act like I’d never seen that little boy before. Lol!

This reminds me of Mark 8:38.  Jesus says – if you are ashamed of me and my words in front of sinful people, then I’ll be ashamed of you in front of God the Father and the angels.

Are you ashamed to call yourself a follower of Christ?

What’s the opposite of being ashamed of someone?  Being proud to be associated with someone.

 In Mark 8:34-38, Jesus tells us how we as Christians should live: 

34 And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he (Jesus) said to them,

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

35 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.

36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?

37 For what can a man give in return for his soul? 

38 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

Let’s take an in-depth look at some difficult words from Jesus that will challenge your soul:

1.) “If anyone” 

Jesus says anyone can follow Him.  Anyone who is young, old, male, female, no matter what sins you have committed – anyone and everyone is invited to follow Jesus.

2.) “Would”

The word “would” shows it’s a choice. Will you follow or won’t you follow?

3.) “Come after me”

Jesus’ invitation includes that He be at the lead. We come after Him. We have to follow him – we can’t choose our own path or go our own way.  We walk behind him.

4.) “Let him deny himself”

Denying yourself means you’re going to say no to yourself and humbly submit to God’s will. You’re not going to focus on pleasing yourself.  You won’t be selfish.  You won’t be exalting yourself or asserting yourself above Jesus and his commands.  If anyone comes after Jesus, it’s a denial of self and a commitment to him fully.

5.) “Take up his cross and follow me.”

This is not an invitation to a party.  A call to take up the cross, is a call to come and die.  It is a call to be willing to sacrifice to follow Jesus.  It means that no matter what someone says or does to us – we will not deny Christ.

6.) “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.”

When we decide to live our lives only to please ourselves – we lose.

#losing

But when we lay down our life for Jesus’ sake – we win.

#winning

This seems to be backwards because the loss of worldly things feels like such a huge loss in this world. But our lives here on earth are but a vapor. They are short and the eternal rewards will far outweigh any losses we suffer here on earth.

7.) “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?”

We can hold onto this world and embrace it and love it and live it up but what do we gain?

The world.

#losing

And what do we lose?

Our soul.

#ultimateloss

Do not trade in your soul for this world.

8.) “For what can a man give in return for his soul?  For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

This is serious.  There are eternal consequences.  We cannot think that we will turn our nose up at God during our life here on earth and then an exception will be made for us in heaven.

There are no loop holes or exceptions.

God is watching and He knows who is fully committed to following after Him.  And those who are not,  He will be ashamed of in the end.  He will not be associated with you because He never knew you.

We all long for the comforts of heaven but are we willing to sacrifice now for His sake?  Many follow Jesus right up until it gets hard, then they fall away.

Jesus does not promise a comfy, cozy, perfect life.

He promises a cross to his followers.

A cross where we come and die to ourselves and follow Him.

Every morning when I wake up, there is nothing godly within me. I have to deny myself over and over and over again to follow Jesus.

Will you commit to follow Jesus no matter what the cost?

Are you ashamed to call yourself a follower of Christ or is it an honor for you to be associated with Jesus?

Who do you follow?

In the end, this will be the only question that matters.  Your answer determines your eternity.

These difficult words from Jesus challenge our soul.

Do not trade in your soul for this world.

Walk with the King,

Courtney

28 Comments

  1. Amen! I love the point you make about every day waking up and choosing to deny yourself and follow Christ! We need to make this conscious decision daily. Lord I choose you tonight right now! Have your way in me!

    1. I love your heart Leah!!!

      Your words – “Lord I choose you tonight right now! Have your way in me!”

      Beautiful. This is my prayer tonight as well.
      Lots of Love,
      Courtney

    2. I am truly inspired! I have made the decision to follow Christ no matter what..I choose the life He has for me!

    3. I also was very impressed by your words about waking up each day and choosing to deny myself and follow Christ! I know this small change will improve and enlighten my life, my walk with Yashua Messiah, Jesus Christ! I am very grateful for this wonderful boost to my spiritual life in Him. Walk with the King! Hallelujah!
      I, too, choose to deny myself and follow Christ! To God be the glory! Yahmein

  2. I often think about this…….would I ever deny him? In my everyday living and going about life, no, but if I were in a situation where someone said, are you a follower of Christ, if so, I will kill you. What would I do? I want to think I would say “yes” but would I? Would I leave my husband, children, family and friends? I truly think I would, but would I……….

    1. Good morning, I just had this thought myself in thinking about my daughter! Everyday I receive HIS grace and mercy and I know HE wants better for me, so I say yes, I can give up my life to follow HIM, and HE will strengthen me. Enjoy your day!

    2. I also ponder the same question. I so badly want to say that I would scream to the world yes; but would I be like Peter & deny Jesus?

      I pray really hard daily that God gives me strength to remain in Him & always give Him the glory. I know I’ve grown in faith because years ago I wouldn’t have even been responding.

      God is the one who brings me constant joy & peace. I’m so thankful He chose to use me in His grand picture.

  3. So glad you wrote on this topic! I had an “aha” moment the beginning of last year when the Coptic Christians were martyred on the beach (that famous picture of the guys in the orange jumpsuits). They appeared to be calm, knowing what was coming. Their faces were set like flint!
    Their families commented that it was an honor for them to be martyred and that they were born for that purpose. It was that month (I think Jan. or Feb.) that I realized deep in my heart that if God brings you to it, He will surely bring you through it!

    None of us want to deny Christ and their story is the extreme just like our heroes in the Word. I pray that we all will rely on the strength that God supplies in the mundane and in the extreme moments when we must stand up for our Lord. Thanks Courtney!

  4. Thank you Courtney for posting this! The latter part of last year until now has been challenging for me and it has allowed me to go deeper in my walk with Christ. Every morning I start my day by asking God to increase in my life, as I decrease. I truly want more of Him and His will to be done in me and through me. I truly want to believe that if I was in a situation to choose Christ over my own life, that I would…I pray that I do.

  5. Another powerful and needed post Courtney. Thank you.

    This really hit home for me, “Denying yourself means you’re going to say no to yourself and humbly submit to God’s will. You’re not going to focus on pleasing yourself. You won’t be selfish. You won’t be exalting yourself or asserting yourself above Jesus and his commands. If anyone comes after Jesus, it’s a denial of self and a commitment to him fully.”

    That is something I am always struggling with, doing what I want and pursuing what is important to me and being focused on myself.

    And I love this statement as well, to focus us on truly dying to self, “Every morning when I wake up, there is nothing godly within me. I have to deny myself over and over and over again to follow Jesus.”

  6. This is the best online study and break down of Scripture I have ever read! Very convicting, powerful, real and honest. I am a mom of two under two and it is extremely difficult to wake up bedore my babies and spend time with Jesus. I havent done it in two weeks and this study was the final push to make it happen! Thank you so much Courtney! This was a great devo. Will be back for more!

    1. Hi Alex,
      I’m also a mom of little ones (3 under 3) and have found it very difficult in the past to wake up before my children, especially after being up in the wee hours of the night with my almost 2 month old. But I can tell you when I do, my day flows much better because I’ve had that special quiet time with God. Now I look forward to waking up before everyone for that time with Him, keep it up!!

  7. Thank you for this. I studied mark as a teenager and it really opened my heart. Now I am 33, and it is touching me very deeply. I am gaining so much insight from this daily study. It is really strengthening my walk with the Lord. Each day, I have been writing a short poem to accompany each chapter. Usually based on a personal struggle. They all follow the same format – The girl said / God said. I felt compelled to share today’s here with you:

    The girl said:
    I had a void
    That I could not fill
    I look to the world
    But it leaves me empty still.

    God said:
    I can fill you, as no other can.
    Forget the world, and follow my plan.
    Covet it not, and take up your cross,
    For following the world is the ultimate loss.

  8. I love this Courtney! Thank you for the reminder that we must die to self to follow God. I have to remind myself of this DAILY! God bless you!

  9. Amazing post Courtney! I love how you broke down the Scripture verses and expounded on them. When reading Scripture, I often ask God, “How does this look in My life?” How do I deny myself? How do I take up my cross?”
    Thank you Courtney! God answered through your post.

  10. Very nice Courtney
    Love your thoughts of denying ourself
    We need to remind our self everyday
    Most of the time our old nature takes over
    Thank u

  11. Love this bible study..so glad I found this GoodMorningGirls online..it’s wonderful. I look forward to every post.

  12. Brought me to tears! Thank you for reminding me to give it all to him. My saviour, my redeemer, my everlasting Father.

  13. This is a wonderful article, but I often wonder about a point brought up near the end.

    “God is watching and He knows who is fully committed to following after Him. And those who are not, He will be ashamed of in the end. He will not be associated with you because He never knew you.”

    Many a church I’ve been too say that once you accept Jesus into your heart, theres no doubt you will be accepted into heaven, but what about those who live a secular life after they accept Christ? Who repeatedly deny following his ways but still believe in God and that he sent his son to die for us.

    I’m not expecting an answer to this question, but it would be nice to hear another take on this!

    -Phoebe

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