In Heavenly Places


Christlike Through Self-denial, October 20

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. Matthew 16:24. HP 300.1

The most difficult sermon to preach and the hardest to practice is self-denial. The greedy sinner, self, closes the door to the good which might be done but which is not done because shillings and pounds* are invested in selfish purposes. We may never have opportunity to do great things; we may never be required to make sublime sacrifices. But the greatest victory we can gain is to follow Jesus.... Every day that Christ lived in our world was for Him a day of self-denial. If we would follow Him over the rugged path of self-denial ... this denial must be carried into the everyday occurrences and actions of our life.... HP 300.2

The world's policy is to acquire money and advantages in any way that they can be obtained. An accumulation of this world's treasure is the ambition of worldlings. The aim and object of the followers of our Lord Jesus Christ is to become Christlike by self-denial and self-sacrifice. They keep their eyes on the eternal riches which they can obtain by renouncing earthly treasure for heavenly treasure. Here are the conditions: He that will be My disciple, let him forsake all, and follow Me. Keep Christ in view, following where He leads the way.... HP 300.3

“It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).... Self-denial will bring into the treasury of God the means necessary to advance His work. Thus we may act in copartnership with Christ. Christ's followers consider that in giving back to the Lord His own they are receiving a blessing; for they are accumulating heavenly treasure, which will be given to them when they shall hear the “Well done, good and faithful servant; ... enter thou into the joy of thy Lord” (Matthew 25:23). What is that joy? “Who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2). The joy of seeing souls redeemed, souls eternally saved, is the privilege of those who have overcome obstacles in order to put their feet in the footprints of Him who said, “Follow me.” 31Letter 52, 1897. HP 300.4