Jesus plainly explained what was required to become His disciple. He said that you must deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Him. These requirements are demanding. A person does not naturally deny himself; rather, he usually does what he wants. Death to self is painful, but that is exactly the meaning of taking up one’s cross.

The cross was an instrument of death–to take it up would be to die to oneself and to one’s own desires in order to serve Christ. There is no profit in gaining the entire world, only to lose one’s soul in the transaction. It is worth everything to submit to God’s stringent requirements for discipleship.

Jesus highlighted the requirements for being a disciple because it is so easy to imagine that you are a follower of Jesus when, in fact, we aren’t. Discipleship is not mere church membership or moral living. It is total devotion to Jesus Christ. It is to die to self and live 100% for the Lord. Are you really Jesus’ disciple?

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