And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. Luke 9:23.
Genuine self-denial will be practiced by all who follow Christ. Judas undertook to follow Christ, and at the same time to carry out his selfish, covetous plans. He had the same privileges as had the other disciples. He had the same privileges of hearing the lessons of Christ, which plainly presented practical godliness; but he was not always pleased with the plain truth. It cut him, and instead of taking up personal labor with Judas Iscariot, he found fault with the words and works of Christ, and criticized His plain teachings. Instead of being transformed in character, he was cultivating self-love, self-esteem, and the love of money.13The Review and Herald, August 21, 1894.
To live for self is to perish. Covetousness, the desire of benefit for self’s sake, cuts the soul off from life. It is the spirit of Satan to get, to draw to self. It is the spirit of Christ to give, to sacrifice self for the good of others.14Manuscript 107, 1908.
There can be no self-seeking in the life of him who follows the Saviour. The true Christian banishes all selfishness from his heart. How can he live for self as he thinks of Christ hanging on the cross, giving His life for the life of the world? In your behalf Jesus died a death of shame. Are you willing to consecrate yourself to His service? to hold yourself ready to be or to do anything He may require? Are you willing to put self aside, and speak a word of warning to the companion you see yielding to Satan’s temptations? Are you willing to sacrifice some of your plans for the sake of trying to lead him in safe paths? Many youth are in peril who might be saved if Christians would manifest toward them a loving, unselfish interest….
The true Christian works unselfishly and untiringly for the Master. He does not seek ease or self-gratification, but holds all, even life itself, subject to God’s call. And to him are spoken the words, “He that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” Matthew 10:39.15The Youth’s Instructor, June 12, 1902.