“Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.”
Jesus sure had a unique way of teaching! It makes a person’s mind work overtime thinking about what he meant by “losing and finding” our lives. These words, spoken to the twelve disciples as he sent them out to preach, are worth meditating on the rest of our earthly days.
These words apply not only to traveling evangelists but in various ways to all people, to all Christians, and to the sacrificial life we must live. Paul says, “He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again” (2 Corinthians 5:15).
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13). Of course, that makes us think of Jesus on the cross. How about the firefighters in the World Trade Center towers on 9/11/2001, or parents sacrificing deeply for their children? Among warriors in feudal Japan there was a saying that a Samurai lives to die for his lord.
A mature Christian life is not a matter of moderation in everything so much as learning how to spend your life for your Lord. You may literally have to lose your life as a martyr. But most Christians face the challenge of holding nothing back, living for Christ, day in and day out for many long years—which is not easy either.
Lord Jesus, we like the idea of growing, but we struggle with giving up the parts of our lives that need to submit to you. Show us how to live sacrificially for you. Amen.
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