In Mark 8:34 Jesus says, “If any want to become my followers, let them take up their cross, deny themselves and follow me.” What does that mean?

Rev Jim Kok says,

“We take up our cross, deny ourselves and follow Jesus when we set aside our fears, business, agendas, claims of inadequacy, and other excuses and then go, speak, act, call, write, show up and care for those who are suffering –for those who are isolated and rejected. Sure there is some risk. Rebuff is possible; weariness, likely  embarrassment can happen. But a risk-free life isn’t worth living. So when I choose to put aside my agenda and instead go and visit individuals in a nursing home, or work in a soup kitchen, or help build an orphanage or a habitat house, or teach a class, or listen to at risk kids read, . . . .then in a sense I am denying my own interests and following Jesus, and guess what, in the end I often have more joy and energy because for a little while I forgot myself and followed Jesus.

So will you deny yourself, take up your cross and make a difference in someone’s life this week?

Photo credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture (

Karen Mulder

Karen Mulder

Karen Mulder is the founder of the Wisdom of the Wounded ministry. She lives in Holland, Michigan with her husband Larry.


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