For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?
Now that we have moved beyond the curious to become the convinced and have committed our lives to Christ, He has commissioned us. He has given us the keys to the kingdom.
Let’s be honest though. We always approach commitment with caution. One of our first concerns is what it will cost us. What might I have to give up that I might not want to give up? How will that look? How will it feel? Will it be worth it?
Jesus gives us a new perspective in today’s verse: “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” This is quite a paradox, but Jesus pushes the point even further: “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?”
Words like “deny,” “lose,” “sacrifice,” and “follow me,” understandably make us nervous. Jesus encouraged us, to stop focusing on what we have to lose and to, instead, think about all we have to gain.
Like the young boy who gave Jesus his lunch to feed the five thousand, he did not obsess about what he might lose. He willingly surrendered his all. And when he gave it to Jesus, it was out of his hands. Jesus took it, blessed it, and used it to meet not just his needs, but the needs of many. And then He gave the boy twelve basketfuls of leftovers. That was quite a return on his investment!
Hold nothing back from Jesus. He came to give us abundant life. He will not withhold any good thing from us. When we give our lives and all we value to Him, He will pour out blessings that we cannot contain. In Christ, we can love and live and give like we have nothing to lose…because we don’t.
Heavenly Father, help me to live with hands and heart wide open. Let me take up my cross to follow You, to suffer any sacrifice for the joy of knowing You. I lose my life to find it in You. In Jesus’ name… Amen.
Today’s Bible Reading:
Psalms & Proverbs