“If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself.” Luke 9:23
This being done, all the rest will be easy. If we know that we are nothing, are unworthy of everything, and have nothing of our own, we can lose nothing.
We have no property since we are stewards of the Lord.
We have no honor or shame of our own, after the manner of the world; this being our only honor if God be glorified, and our only shame, if He be dishonored by us.
The glory of God we must have at heart, and in His cause be like lions — but in our own cause like lambs. Therefore, when we are crossed by things which do not concern the glory of God and the real good of our neighbor — but our own interest and are unwilling to suffer anything, we shall be involved in greater troubles; but, denying ourselves, we shall lose much needless and carnal vexation, and, instead of this, receive Christ, with all His spiritual and temporal blessings, as far as we want them, which alone can make us cheerful and happy.
But whoever desires to please the world (seeking himself and his own glory), cannot be a follower of Christ. And how will it be with him in the hour of death and judgment? By this everyone, learned or unlearned, may try himself — whom does he please? God, or the world? Who is sovereign of the heart — Christ or Satan? What is the aim of life — holiness or self-indulgence?
Devotion by Karl Heinrich von Bogatzky (1690—1774)
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