What are you willing to give up to save your life? What are you willing to give up to save the life of a family member? Are you willing to give everything up? Are you willing to give up your house, vehicle, all your possessions? Are you willing to give up your negative attitude, bad behavior, your preferences?
Most of us never think about what we would be willing to do to save our lives or the lives of our family. We don’t want to think about it. We prefer to avoid the horror of thinking about it. We don’t want to consider the possibility of a loved one’s life being put in danger.
The truth of the matter is our lives are in danger. Perhaps not in the way we might think. Our eternal lives are in danger. To be a disciple of Jesus, we must love Him above any other. We must give up our life in order to find our life.
On the face of it, we believe this to be harsh. Yet, it is not nearly as harsh as we might think. To give up our life means to give up our selfishness, negative attitude, bad behavior, gossiping, and basically acting like the rest of the world who don’t know Jesus. It means becoming someone who stands out as different. That’s where the rub is, isn’t it? We don’t want to be different. We want to fit in the crowd. Unfortunately, the crowd isn’t on the straight and narrow path.
Many of us think our belief in Jesus and attending church on Sunday is enough. Yet, that only puts us in the same boat as the five foolish virgins who didn’t bring enough oil for their lamps (Matthew 25:1-13). They were not prepared when the bridegroom came. Perhaps they didn’t want to carry the additional oil. Perhaps they thought the bridegroom would be along shortly. They weren’t prepared for the long haul.
It is true that Jesus will accept us as we are. Yet, He will not allow us to stay as we are. He expects us to change. He expects us to give up ourselves—our preferences, our negative attitudes, our bad behaviors, our selfishness, our plan for our lives.
I pray we all decide to give ourselves up to be Jesus’ disciple. I pray we are willing to change. I pray each one of us will decide to stand apart from the crowd in order to save our lives. Choose Jesus over the world. Be willing to change. Be willing to follow Him. Find your life.
Matthew 10:37-39 “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.”