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Good morning, I pray that this finds you blessed and full of Jesus. We have been studying the foundation that points to Jesus Christ and how we can still apply the Old Testament to our lives in this modern world. And after the year that we have had, the perfect vision, this year is going to be about reconciliation- first to God, then to our community and then to the world. We can not be silent any longer and hope they leave Christ Followers alone. Because I am here to tell you they won't. So now that we are committed to learning our foundation and reconciling ourselves back to Christ let's take a look at what it means to follow Christ. Turn to Mark 8:34-35. "When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, 'Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his live will lose it, but whoever keeps his live for My sake and the gospel's will save it." There are three things that Jesus says we must do if we want to be His children. The first one is to deny himself/herself. What does that mean? Deny means to declare untrue, to reject, to refuse. We must reject our natural instinct. The world tells us to take care of us, we are first. But Jesus says to deny that and put Him above all. The second is take up our cross. When we take up our cross, we usually tend to think that it means that we are to carry the trials and frustrations of life. Yes, it does mean that but it also means death. The cross is where Jesus died. We are to carry that cross just as He did and die. And that means after we have moved on from denying oneself, we are to die to our wants and desires and take up Jesus' wants and desires. And the last is to follow Him. We are to go where He went. We are to do what He did. And I am here to tell you that Jesus not only went into the churches He was down on skid row. He went out to those that needed Him. We too are to go out to those who need us. We can't just get up and go to church and know that we are saved. We have to be the hands and feet. We are today's living example of Jesus. But we first have to deny and then die to ourselves. Then we can follow in the footsteps of Jesus and do what His disciples done. Do you think all the things the disciples done is gone? Jesus is the same today as He was then. Why are we not accessing the power that He gave in the Holy Spirit? God did not give us the spirit of fear. And if we so choose to do this the way Christ would have us to do it, then there is a reward- we gain access to heaven. We get to be with Jesus forever. And because we lived the life that Christ has for us, we make this place better because of Jesus. 1 Peter 2:21-22 also tells us to follow in Jesus' footsteps. "For to this you were called because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth." Guys we can't follow in Jesus' footsteps if we don't get into the Word of God. We need to read it ourselves. We need to get past what we have always been taught and get into God's Word. And when we get together at the church, if the pastor is a Bible believing pastor, it will be confirmed. But it all starts with me and you- deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Jesus. Have a blessed day and rise up in the name of Jesus.

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