December 12, 2009

Letting Go of Life

Matthew 16:21-28

“Whoever loses their life for me will find it.”
Matthew 16:25


My ten-year-old twin daughters still hold on to the blankets they’ve had since they were babies. Their blankets are tattered, torn, pitiful looking strands of cotton, but my daughters won’t let them go because they have strong emotional ties to those blankets.

Peter had strong emotional ties to Jesus. How could Jesus even talk of leaving and dying? Didn’t Jesus know that Peter needed him?

Peter pulled Jesus aside because Jesus wasn’t talking like someone who had the world by a string. But Jesus saw the world differently. Losing life for the Lord’s sake was better than holding on to life in this world.

Peter needed a verbal slap in the face. Jesus saw what Peter could not see: Satan was standing in Jesus’ way to bring Peter to the Father. Like a cold glass of water thrown in the face of a sleepy person, Jesus had to violently awaken Peter to kingdom things. Peter was holding on to his life without suffering for Jesus’ sake. The cross was the only way to bring Peter to God.

By letting go of his life, Jesus gains for us eternal life. Jesus was training Peter to lose his life for Jesus so that he could have a life that really honored God.

What are you holding on to for your sake? Maybe it’s time to let go of your life so that Jesus can give you a life that truly honors God.

Dear Lord, I need help letting go of my life. Teach me to lose my life for your kingdom. Help me to see that the life you want me to live for you is best. Amen.

About the author — Reginald Smith

Dr. Reginald Smith is senior pastor at Roosevelt Park Community Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he has served for seventeen years. He has also served as a pastor in Paterson, New Jersey. He and his wife, Sharon, have three daughters, Janelle, Katrina, and Mariah.

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