Posted by: Derek Guyer | December 1, 2008

ROTH Challenge #3

The more time I’ve spent thinking about being thankful over the last week, the more selfish I’ve realized I am. Most of the time, my thoughts are consumed with things that please me, feelings that satisfy me, and people who make me feel good about myself.  But focusing on being thankful has helped me to take my mind off of me.  I’m constantly being drawn back to one verse and one verse alone.  Jesus said it very plainly and we talk about it quite a bit, but rarely do we take the time to let this saying sink into our minds.  Because we don’t let it sink into our minds, it rarely ever pricks our hearts.  As a result, we remain unchanged.  

I think this one verse is what drove the New Testament disciples to become martyrs. I think this one verse is what changed the believers in the first century.  I think this one verse is the one thing we rarely get.

Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”      Mark 8:34

Try that one on for size. Examine what you value right now and how it may replace God. Think about how it takes away from time with Him and time for Him. What could you be doing in the 30 minutes you’re doing the current thing you value? Think about how has he taken a back seat to that thing? Then change it. Get rid of it. Deny yourself the satisfaction and fully focus on His glory. 

I’ll try to follow up later in the week with some ideas and thoughts of my own, as I know this can be a difficult challenge.  In the mean time, give your best to denying yourself to the glory of God.


  1. Well Derek, this challenge as you know hits me right between the eyes.
    When I was in that similar place that you had been in, I was very self absorbed. All that I could think about was my own relief from the pain, and not much else.
    I wondered if I could ever really forgive the man, who I thought was a friend, for sleeping with my wife. I just wanted selfish revenge! You kept saying, “Deny yourself man!” “Fix your eyes on Jesus!” You really helped me through that dark time in my life and I thank you for it.
    We all must realize that we are inherently selfish creatures. It is not in our nature to deny ourselves. We must look to the “perfect” example of that in Jesus Christ. He was God that became one of us! He knows all too well the trials and tribulations that we go through in our daily lives. He only wants the best for us! The least we can do is take up our crosses and follow Him!
    I know this will be a life long challenge for me.

  2. I realized the other night as I was in one of my – are you kidding me God – moods… I thought to myself – I just need to be a servant girl to my husband and get over it – and then I actually pictured a servant maid – one who serves food out and says is there anything else I can do for you – one who makes the house look clean and orderly – the one who serves… like a maid- really??

    So often I think we view the work servant or server – or servant to God as many different things – when I think about serving as Jesus did – I’m good with it – I know it’s the right thing to do – however – when I think about myself as the servant girl who delivers and bows and is at beck-and-call… that tends to bring up some defensive issues – I don’t know if it does for all women – but it does for me – and then I realized…

    I need to do that for God – I need to lay my work down at his table – ask him what else he’d like me to do – “How else may I serve you?” – and turn around and DO IT – with out question – just like physical servants do… or how you see in the movies…

    I finally decided that since we are not only called to serve God but serve man – that I really do need to humble myself ENOUGH to serve everyone – just as a servant maid does… just like Jesus did.

    Completely changed my thinking – so I need to give up my attitude of thinking “pshh, I’m no servant girl” to “Is there anything else I can do for you”

    This in turn should and will change almost everything I do that is NOT unto the Lord… hopefully – with prayer that is…

  3. Wow, this one really hit me hard last week! I now just stand looking around my house and seeing all of the things that hold me back from fully committing myself to God’s work.

    I keep thinking…If only I lived in a smaller house, with less STUFF, I would have less to clean and take care of and could then do more for Him. So what did I do? I started trying to get rid of some of the STUFF. Of course, I then began obsessing over getting rid of the stuff and I totally neglected God’s work again. So, in the end, I realized that even by doing something good (like getting rid of something that was holding me back) can turn into something evil.

    It’s all in your attitude I think. I just keep asking myself all day long, Is what I’m doing right now glorifying God? If so, I keep doing it. If not, I figure out why not and change it.

  4. BTW, Cari your comment about the slave girl was GREAT! That really hit home to me and helped me to see this even more clearly. Thank God for speaking through you!

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