Christ’s call to discipleship is a call to self-death, an absolute surrender to God. … From the world’s perspective, Christ’s frankness in caling people to follow HIm appears to be extreme. But Jesus is honest and direct: to share in His glory a person must first share in His death… Jesus is the Lord of lords and King of kings. And the Lord of the universe commands every person to follow Him. He never pleaded for someone to follow Him. He was embassaringly straightforward… Jesus expected immidiate obedience. He accepted no excuses… Obeying Christ’s command, “Follow Me,” results in self-death. Christianity without self-death is only an abstract philosophy. It is Christianity without Christ.
Dr. Keith Phillips, The Making of a Disciple (Fleming H. Revell Company: New Jersey, 1981), 16-17.
My child, you cannot have perfect liberty unless you completely deny yourself.1
Those who only seek their own interests and are lovers of themselves are in chains – they are coveteous, curious, wanderers who always seek things that appeal to them and not the things of Jesus Christ, and often devise and plan things that will not succeed.
For all that is not of God will fail.
Keep this short and perfect word: “Give up everything and you will find everything.”2 Give up every immoderate desire and you will find rest.
Consider this well, and when you have put it into practice you will understand all things.
O Lord, this is not the work of one day or the sport of children – indeed, in that short sentence is all the perfection of spiritual people.
1 Matthew 16:24-25
2 Matthew 19:27-29
Kempis, Thomas A. “Book III: Internal Consolation.” The Imitation of Christ. Trans. Harold J. Chadwick. New Jersey: Bridge-Logos, 1999. 174. Print.