[Jesus] said unto them, “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” ~ Mark 8:34b
STEP 1: Deny self
It is not what I want for my life, that matters. What matters is what Jesus wants for me. I’ll give up my life, and my liberty to pursue Jesus’ “happiness”.
But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. ~ Philippians 3:7
STEP 2: Take up your cross
Your cross is not your sacrifice. Jesus was crucified ON a cross. Therefore, to take up your cross is to be ready for the world to crucify you for the sake of the gospel. Taking up my cross is the willingness to be rejected by the world.
But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. ~ Galatians 6:14
STEP 3: Follow me
Obey the teachings of Jesus: live by the WORD of God: Imitate Christ. Read the Bible and live the Bible. If Christ is our shepherd we must follow His instructions: His Word preserved for us in the Bible.
Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me. ~ Psalm 119:133