Today's encouragement comes from Mark 8:34b & 35, wherein the Lord Jesus said this:
"Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but who-ever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it."
Notice that the key here is the twice-repeated word, "desires." What do we desire? If we desire to follow Jesus, this is good—but it will cost us some-thing. It will cost us our sin, our autonomy, and our false sense of "freedom." We cannot live in Christ, until we die to ourselves. This is very difficult. In fact, aside from sovereign grace, it is impossible.
But, once we do this, we are truly liberated. Jesus will be no man's debtor. If we give Him what we are—He will give us far more than we could ever ima-gine.
[Puritan quote of the day: "Consider that God's mercy and Christ's merits in pardoning the guilt of the sin you have committed are far greater than the greatness of your own guilt.” —Christopher Love, in, "The Dejected Soul's Cure"]