Jesus said in Luke 9:23, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow Me.” Jesus, in these few words, tells us what it means to be one of His disciples. Three things: self-denial, enduring hardship and being faithful.
“Deny himself” or self-denial. It means saying no. One cannot follow Christ without the willingness to say “no” to other things or people. It is akin to repentance; turning away from things that have nothing to do with exalting Christ. Self-denial is a willingness to say no to self in order to live for another.
friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and
all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties
you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no
human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with
heaven, if Christ were not there?”