Luke 9:23-24 

“Then he said to them all: Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.”


It’s natural to want to preserve your life. There’s something in all of us that fights for life. When we see people struggling in the surf for instance, the natural instinct is to rescue them. In fact we rush to rescue them. This desire for life is from the heart of God. The desire for real inner life, for spiritual life, for eternal life is also straight from the heart of God. And just as we see someone drowning in the surf, and rush to rescue them, He sees us, drowning, wounded souls dying and desperately trying to rescue ourselves. He rushes to our aid and gives His life so that we may find life. And just as we may say to a drowning person, “Relax and I’ll do it. Let me take the  lead,” so Jesus us saying, “Let me take the lead. Accept the fact that you are unable to rescue yourself from spiritual death. Accept the fact that you don’t have the authority to rescue yourself or the means by which to do it. Deny yourself and follow me and you will find the life you long for.” And the key to this is found in these three words: “For My sake.” He lived and died for your sake. You die and live for His sake. That’s the key to abundant life. 


Lord, forgive me for following my own way and foolishly thinking I could find life apart from you. Give me courage and strength to take up my cross and follow you that I may find life and bring you glory. In Jesus name. 


Sue Irwin is the senior pastor of the Grainery Church, Newcastle. She is married to Graeme and has four children, one daughter-in-law and two cute grandsons. She is the author of “The Gift of Prayer.” – teaching children to pray.