“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
True self-denial is the renouncing of SELF and the yielding of the whole life to the will of Christ. It is SELF coming down from the heart’s throne, laying crown and scepter at the Master’s feet and thenceforth submitting the whole life to His sway.
True self-denial is living not to please ourselves, not to advance our own personal interests but to please our Lord and do His work. It is denying ourselves anything which is sinful in His sight. It is the glad making of any sacrifice which loyalty to Him requires. It is the giving up of any pleasure or comfort for the good of others — which the living out of His gospel may demand.
The essential thing is that SELF gives way altogether to CHRIST as the purpose and end of life.
True self-denial, like all other traits of ‘Christlikeness’, is unconscious of itself. We deny ourselves when we follow Christ with joy and gladness, through cost and danger and suffering wherever He leads!