Those of us who profess to be Christians need to deny ourselves and live the life that Jesus gave us as an example. There can be no misunderstanding…..we Christians are called to deny self.  That is one of the hardest concepts that we want to grasp.  It sends fear deep into our hearts and souls that Christ expects up to give up everything we have, move to a foreign land, and suffer for His sake. And yes, we are to suffer for Him but it can be done in our own homes, in our neighborhoods, our cities, and states.  But, confronted with the necessity of suffering, most of us react exactly like Peter did in Mark 8.  Jesus gives us the challenge to think like God thinks, not as we human beings normally think.  We must pray for our hearts to be open to serving others.  Prayer is very important, but prayer must be an opening up of ourselves to what God wills, not an exercise in forcing God to do our will. And that is what discipleship or following Christ is about as well!  We must take up the Cross; must be willing to lose our lives to self; and must not deny Jesus when confronted by co-workers, family, or friends. Jesus never said it would be easy, but he did say the rewards were great!