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 (57)

57 thoughts on "Allegiance to the King"

  1. Andrea Silverstein says:

    “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” (Dt 6:4-5)

    This seems like a relatively simple task. If asked if I followed these instructions, I would shout, “YES!” without hesitation. But as I stop to think about this, I realize what might be more truthful is that I want to follow these instructions.

    Heavenly Father, help guide me to live this call through my actions, and not just through my good intentions. When my day is challenging, guide me to slow down and acknowledge your love. When my day is worth celebrating, guide me to slow down and give you thanks. And when my day feels mundane and monotonous, open my eyes to your work around me. Amen.

  2. Jennifer Anapol says:

    I pray the Lord would show me how to deny myself and take up his cross. I’m glad that Jesus gives me the strength to do this.

  3. Adrienne * says:

    Oops… I meant Anne… so that! (I was writing Diane’s name in my study book and mixed it up into my reply!)

  4. Adrienne * says:

    Yes, Diane… SO THAT!

  5. Stacy Smith says:

    All I can think of right now is all the friends I’ve lost because they are worshipping a man and ideology and not the TRUE king who will save the world.

  6. Mercy says:

    Such a great reminder of who we are, what our “passport” says, Heavenly citizen. Whichever nation you belong to, the laws of that nation apply for you, though temporarily residing somewhere else. The currency of Heavens is different from the currency of the earth. The rich young ruler, loaded in earthly wealth, but one thing he lacked, and Jesus gave him a discreet answer, looking at him and loving him (not to embarrass him), to reveal his heavenly poverty, Jesus told him to do a wealth transfer, sell all you have to give to the poor, since Scripture says, whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and He will reward them for what they have done (Proverbs 19:17). But the rich man was too sorrowful to part with his earthly currency, to do this God ordained transfer to his future heavenly account.

    I love the quote that Angie posted from Martin Lutherking a while back (thank you Angie!!), I see much connection with our study today, “I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess.” Truly when we give for the Lord’s sake (money, time, free labour/volunteering), we simply just deposit them into our future account, in which we will spend eternity. Would you travel somewhere knowing that you won’t have much cash to spare? One day, as the trumpet sounds, in a twinkling of an eye, we will “travel” to our true nation as God has ordained this (1 Corinthians 15:52), we will put on a new body. Let us not go there to find out we only have pennies to spare. Oh boy, would we be sorry? While we still can, now and here, let us store up. If Jesus warned this rich young man, it must prove to be necessary and important. Glory to Jesus for his teachings.

    Praying for the posted requests of our dear sisters. When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles (Psalm 34:17). God bless you all.

  7. Maya Billiot says:

    Hi everyone! I’m starting a new job soon that I know I was placed at by God. Part of me is super excited about this new opportunity, but it is WAY out of my comfort zone. I feel like the devil is starting to feed me lies that say I’m not enough or I’m not equipped. I’m starting to doubt that I should even be accepting this position, but I know God placed me here for a reason. If you don’t mind, please pray that the devil fleas and that I receive strength from God for this job.

  8. Melissa Mcronney says:

    Praise God

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