Here the passage moves from a focus on Jesus to us, the disciples. The next “must” is for us. We are to bear our cross, not wear a cross. This is not a request but a requirement, not an option but an obligation, not a choice but a certainty. It is followed by three imperatives – deny, take-up, and follow.
This is not a voluntary act but compulsory. We are so accustomed to ask for volunteers but Jesus is calling for followers. Are you a follower of Christ or a volunteer for Christ?
To deny oneself means to place God and not self on the seat of the heart’s throne, to say yes to selflessness and no to selfishness, to be God-centered and not self-centered. We can only receive all from Jesus when we are willing to give up what we have.
Prayer: Dear Father, I willingly deny myself to bear my cross, follow you and place Jesus above all else in my life. Holy Spirit, empower me to relinquish all my earthly desires and cleanse my heart pure to serve God’s will. I also know that the same power that crushed the enemy also resides in me today. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
source : Ousus