Day 17

Allegiance to the King

from the The Kingdom of God reading plan

Deuteronomy 6:4-5, Luke 9:21-27, Luke 18:18-30, Philippians 3:20-21, 1 John 2:15-17

BY Bailey Gillespie

As followers of Jesus, our allegiance is to the King, and His kingdom is our priority. Submitting to Christ as King is an act of worship.

“If anyone wants to follow after me,” said Jesus to His disciples, “let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23). 

Deny yourself. Ooph. It’s one of those statements that cuts straight into me. Nothing in me likes the thought of denying myself. It creates the feeling of lack and I don’t like to feel the cavernous growl any more than the unfulfilled desires of my heart.  

Reading today’s passages, I had to ask myself the honest question: as a follower of Jesus, what does it even mean to deny myself? Or pick up my cross? (After those first two, the questions kept on coming.) How do believers practice the kind of self-denial Jesus talked about without being doormats or shadows of who God created us to be? How do we avoid self-erasing and abuse, while, at the same time, also avoid idolizing self-care or, as my friend likes to put it, “building the kingdom of me”?

Our allegiance must be to our King. If you look at verse 25, Jesus also says, “For what does it benefit someone if he gains the whole world, and yet loses or forfeits himself?” (or “soul” as some translations say). Denying ourselves isn’t about losing our God-given identity. What Jesus is saying is that instead of going after our own agendas, we should seek first the kingdom.

To do this, we must look to Jesus again. In the full passage from Luke 9, Jesus isn’t talking about self-imposed pain in an effort to be holier. We weren’t called to be hermits or doormats without boundaries. But we are told to expect trials in our day-to-day lives and to face them head-on for the sake of our greater calling.  

As believers, our citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20). Even though it’s right and good to thank God for the many amazing gifts He gives us, we want to be careful about developing a love for the world and our own comfort over our love for Christ (1John 2:15). Instead, our devotion and allegiance should be to our first love. 

There will be days when we’re asked to give up a lot. A whole lot. There may be years that feel like we’re waiting for a harvest that isn’t coming. Life will require great endurance. That’s a promise. But there will also be beauty and the deep satisfaction of partnering with our King in His mission to redeem and restore our world. This is the tradeoff for denying ourselves and taking up our cross. We share in the sufferings of Christ, but we also get to share in the joy. Keep following Jesus, friends. It’s worth it. 

Post Comments (58)

58 thoughts on "Allegiance to the King"

  1. Victoria E says:

    Rita Ann praying for your husband.

  2. Victoria E says:

    Madison I am right there with you. My husband and I have been trying for a long time now and every month that goes by my heart feels a bit more crushed. I will pray for us both- something that has helped me in recent weeks is to look at God, not my circumstances and that has brought me more peace than just “trying not to stress”.

  3. Sheri Davis says:

    Please pray for my brother in law who is dealing with depression. Thank you.

  4. Mari V says:

    Praying for you Diane. I walk to work and I will be praying for YOU and Rita Ann

  5. STRUGGLING says:

    “We are told to expect trials in our day-to-day lives and to face them head-on for the sake of our greater calling.” (Quote from the devotional today). I pray for the courage to do this.

    Thank you Kelly and everyone for the love & support you’ve given me here. ❤

  6. Mari V says:

    @Rita Ann. Praying for your husband.

  7. Maura says:

    Good Morning, Madison, praying for you dear Sister. May you feel Jesus open arms waiting for you to give Him these heavy things and be able to release them, the Word says Cast your cares on Him, so if you have to throw them away from you. If you need to imagine, or go to a field and take some stones and have them represent what is weighing you down and as you pray throw them out. He loves you Madison, He is able. You can lay it down, He is faithful and you can trust Him with it all. I have struggled with anxiety and know that sometimes it comes from a physical reason, so would encourage you to check with your doctor, a lot of mine was from thyroid medicine, so wanted to let you know. May you feel His release and His joy. Diane, praying for your son, healing and God’s peace for you and that your allergies would be not a problem, or easily handled. Hugs. Kelly, so appreciate your daily messages to Struggling, you are a warrior of care in Him. ❤️ I so want to steer clear of “the Kingdom of me” so true all the messages we get that the world gives to look after number 1, which unfortunately is such a putting yourself above everyone else message, but I do realize that I need also to lean into being His child and receive the way He cares for me, so, as we would look out for others, we can care for ourselves and the best way is spending time with the Lord, in prayer, in His word, in His rest and time with others in fellowship like this daily fellowship we have here.
    ERB, Such good encouragement you have this morning in your words. Citizens of Heaven, Amen. If I can keep my mind on the joy in that it is so good. I also notice the repetition of His anger had not turned away and His hand is still upraised. And in it I thought of Moses holding His hand up as God parted the red sea. And I thought in His anger we see His love for the good of His children, in the Woe to those who make unjust laws and who issue oppressive decrees, and in verse 3, What will you do on the day of reckoning, when disaster comes from afar? To whom will you run for help? Where will you leave your riches? 4Nothing will remain but to cringe among the captives or fall among the slain.” In all of these because of Jesus, I hear His love saying, choose the path I have for you seek Justice and Righteousness and this corruption will not prevail. Hugs ERB thanks for the blessing. We are to be above it, save the grace of Jesus who was slain for us, we can not be. But, He raises us up for the glory of our God. Sing Hallelujah to the Lamb Sisters, He is so worthy of our praise!!’

  8. Catie Brooks says:

    So many great passages today! ❤️

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