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Saying “No” to You

Have you ever set a goal and didn’t complete it? Like making plans to start dieting and then breaking that diet for the cake that’s sitting in the break room? What would it look like if you denied yourself that last slice of cake with all the icing piled on top? You would definitely feel better physically by the end of the day.

In Mark 8:34-35, Jesus tells us that if we want to be his disciples we must deny ourselves, take up our crosses and follow Him. That means sharing the good news of Jesus and trying to follow His example as closely as we know how. It also means that there will be times when we have to say ‘no’ to things we want in order to experience the better things He has for us.

Denying ourselves and following in Jesus’ footsteps seems impossible and not worth it, but like passing on the cake in the break room, experiencing lasting joy sometimes comes at the expense of  our temporary happiness. Jesus understands this better than anyone. He poured Himself out to us, gave us everything, loved us and served us, only to die on a cross. But three days later, Jesus rose from the grave to give hope to the world!

It’s only when we understand who Jesus is that we can fulfill what He’s asked of us. It’s not easy to say ‘no’ to ourselves, but it’s important because there’s joy in following Jesus and there’s hope to be given out. If we really believe that Jesus is Lord and Savior of all, it’s worth people knowing Him. He gets the glory and we get the joy. And that’s way better than any slice of cake.


  • Who do you say Jesus is?
  • What is the “cake” in your life? What is the thing that hinders you from growing closer to Jesus?
  • Who are the people in your life that need hope, and how will you share it with them?

You can read more about the book of Mark here

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