Luke 9:23-25, NIV: Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?

Our living fully for Him, and denial of self is not a suggestion, but a requirement. Each of us must take time to do some serious self-evaluation asking the Lord to show us where we are missing the mark. Am I, like the rich young ruler, asked to give up something that makes me turn away from Jesus in regret? Itís then I need, as Paul, to consider all else as worthless in comparison to knowing and following Christ. This is not easy, but it is worth it. And it is not only worth it, it is necessary. It will require a decision to take up the cross, and it will take determination to forsake all else in order to follow Him in truth. My way of living or enjoyment of life must be counted as worthless. My wants, personal aspirations, desires from life must be considered worthless. Anything that stands in the way of my following Him must be thrown aside in order that I may follow Him fully. Until we do this, our effect as ministers to a lost world will be negligible. We hold Godís hand with one hand, and with our other hand, we should be reaching out to those who need God. It is to our shame and sorrow when our hand cannot reach out to those in peril because that hand instead is full of the things of this world.