Monday, April 22, 2013

Deny Yourself


A couple of months ago I was humbled to have been asked to review the first devotional DVD in Lisa Chan's True Beauty Series. The first DVD was called Be Still and I have been asked to review the 2nd installment  Deny Yourself. Wife of well known (famous in my eyes!) pastor and church planter, Francis Chan, Lisa Chan is a true woman of un-dying faith who sets out to encourage other women in their walks towards sanctification and Christ like lives. 

Here is the trailer for Deny Yourself
 
True Beauty Deny Yourself - God Is Better from Flannel Staff on Vimeo.

In each of the gospels, it is recorded that Jesus tells his friends and disciples, "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me." (Matthew 16:24). Deny myself? Those words sting deep like a fresh wound. In theory denying ourselves is an easy task. Praying those words of acceptance of Christ, promising to love and obey, to put others before you, to refrain from sin. But how many of us are truly denying ourselves in the eyes of the world in obedience to God? Lisa talks about how counter intuitive denying yourself is in our world today. We live in a world that craves attention, success, and self worth. We lift up greed and take care of ourselves first. Even modern Christian churches love talking about the love and forgiveness of God...but don't ever talk about taking up our cross and denying ourselves. We assume we are forgiven in Christ yet can't forgive others (see my posts on forgiveness, The Gift of Forgiveness and How to Forgive). 

I had heard the term "to take up your cross" many times but it wasn't until a few years ago that I fully understood its true meaning, seriousness, and depth. Taking up our cross means to load up the pain, brokenness, and sin in our lives and walk towards Jesus. That very sin that was paid for on the cross by the precious blood of Christ. Your pain and past doesn't have to own you but take it to Jesus. Our biggest struggle as believers is truly submitting ourselves to the will of God. We steer away, resist, and keep ourselves from Him with our own choices and sin. It's not always going to be the easy way out but denying ourselves and following Him will fill us up with so much joy and help us recognize the true freedom we are given through salvation. 

I have been a Christian almost my entire life but I can honestly say that it wasn't until a few years ago that I truly believed in the words of Matthew 16:25..."For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. ". In Christ, I have nothing to lose and everything to gain. 

Are you ready to deny yourself and the ways of the world, take up your cross and follow Christ?

Giveaway 
One lucky winner will receive a copy of Lisa Chan's Deny Yourself DVD
a Rafflecopter giveaway

The True Beauty DVD devotionals can be purchased here.

 photo Signature_zps45ff6a7d.png

13 comments:

Kaleigh said...

I have been so encourgaed by Francis Chan and would love to hear from his wife.

Candice Williams said...

This looks amazing! Would love to learn more With the DVD!

Kerrie Williams said...

Wow this video spoke to me, even in it's brevity. I think, for me, it's hard to deny myself because I have this great excuse of "I'm in a transitional period". I'm moving to Mexico in 5 months to be more of a full-time missionary (aka servant) to the people there. I've replaced my positions in the church here, and I just feel like I'm in this "no-man's land". So I use that as an excuse telling myself that it's coming. Just wait for it. But the Lord doesn't tell us to pick up our crosses in 5 months from now. He tells us to do it daily. This is something He has really been speaking to me about in the last few days so I loved seeing this post.

Lisa Elle said...

LOVE this!! We just finished a Francis chan study with out small group so I would live to hear what Lisa Chan has to say :) I think it's so hard to deny myself because honestly I'm selfish :) I want to make sure I am looked after as the world always tells us to look out for/look after yourself. It's hard to be counter-cultural and trust God to look after you :)

Amanda aka Manda said...

We're actually doing a study on this same topic in my small group bible study! I may have to take some of this knowledge back to my group!

jennynicole1982 said...

My boyfriend of 10 years has never believed in God. This has been a struggle for us. He has recently been struggling a lot and this weekend he admitted he thinks God is knocking at the door of his heart. This has been a very emotional weekend. Please Pray that I will have the words to guide him. That God will use me to help him to open his heart to God.

Alyssa said...

This is so encouraging! My pride is what keeps me from doing what's right.

Chandelle Foote said...

I love Francis Chan and learned so much in his study 'Crazy Love'! Would love to learn from his wife! With the world screaming at me every day to be self-centered, its hard to build in messages to deny myself for His sake, but I long to do this more!

Julie Marie said...

Sounds like an awesome message we all desperately need to hear

Kayti said...

I think sometimes it's difficult for me to deny myself because it's so much easier to make excuses. I can tell myself "Well, even if I fail here, even if I'm a little selfish here, God will still love me just the same." Or, "I'm already denying myself in areas X,Y, and Z, does God really care if I don't deny myself in this one tiny thing?"

The problem is though, that these excuses reflect a failure to acknowledge that denying myself for the glory of God isn't a chore, it's a blessing and an honor. I'm working hard to keep that truth at the forefront of my mind when those excuses keep popping up, but it's certainly a growing process that I'll constantly be working on this side of heaven.

I'd love to check out this devotional as I'm trying to grow in this way. :)

Becky said...

I love Francis Chan! and I would LOVE to hear from his wife!

Jared and Jody said...

I think it's amazing how God uses people around you to show you show his love and how when he is teaching you something he bring it to your attention everywhere you look. I would feel so blessed to get the opportunity to do this devotional. Looking forward to getting into his word on this topic. Thanks for the giveaway!

iampressing2 said...

Denying yourself probably is one of the hardest things to learn in the Christian life. We continue to learn it everyday.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...