‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.’ (Luke 9:23b, NIV)


Dying on a cross and going without pudding for a year seem like two very different sacrifices. But it is the heart of denying ourselves something that we are looking at this week.

Giving up pudding for a whole year is how the Self-Denial Appeal started 138 years ago. The co-founder of The Salvation Army, William Booth, heard that Major John Carleton was prepared to go without his pudding for 12 months and donate the savings towards the Army’s mission. William Booth thought asking people to go without something for a whole year might be too big of an ask, and so he put the challenge out for people to go without something for a week and donate the savings to the mission.

Today, the Self-Denial Appeal has expanded to supporting the mission of The Salvation Army internationally.

The heart of this week’s focus is found in the verse above. As disciples of Jesus, we are called to sacrifice ourselves and our desires to follow what Jesus wants of us. And while that can seem overwhelming and like we are giving up too much, when we give up what we want for what God wants, it brings so much life and freedom to everyone involved.


There are two questions we can ask ourselves as we go into this week.

  • Firstly, what can we give up to contribute to the mission of The Salvation Army that we are a part of?
  • But also, and more importantly, how can we sacrifice what we want for what God wants in our lives?


What can you give up this week? Maybe it is not buying something for the week and donating the money to the mission of The Salvation Army, or maybe you can donate some of your time to helping someone in your corps or centre?


God, thank you for the way you have used The Salvation Army to show people your love. Thank you that we get the opportunity to be a part of that. I pray that you help me to give you my life and that you would use me to show people love. Amen.