by David Wilkerson

The Lord told Peter, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him

deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me" (Matthew 16:24).

Clearly, belonging to Jesusī church means more than merely

believing in him. Many Christians today "cast a vote for Jesus,"

but then they walk away and forget all about his lordship over

their lives. Our Lord makes it clear that belonging to him involves

living a life of self-denial and taking up a cross. "He who does

not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me" (Matthew 10:38).

Jesus is saying, "If you are in my church, then be prepared to be

persecuted and ridiculed if you hunger and thirst after me. And

be prepared to deny yourself all fame, acceptance and worldly

pleasure-seeking." The fact is, Christīs church has never been

accepted by the world and it never will be. People will be

uncomfortable around you and want to separate from your

company. "Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they

exclude you, and revile you ... for the Son of Manīs sake" (Luke 6:22).

Jesus shows us the path that leads to true fulfillment: "Whoever

loses his life for My sake will find it" (Matthew 16:25). In other

words, the only way you will find meaning in life is to be sold out

for Jesus. Then you will find true joy, peace and satisfaction.

Christ tells us, "When you come to me, you must die to self, to

all ungodly ambition and ego. By faith you will be buried with

me, but I will raise you up into new life!"

"It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words

that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life" (John 6:63). Only

the words of Jesus can produce life and we must consume them

as we would food and drink - by daily reading the Word of God

and spending time in his presence.