Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Save Your Life by Losing It

Chuckle: "Isn't Disney World a people-trap operated by a mouse?"
Quote: "The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it." -- William James

Then he (Jesus) called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it." (Mark 8:34-35 NIV).
We all want to be winners at life. However, Even though we may be successful in our vocation, we may fail in living a life of meaning and purpose. Our Lord wants us to have victory in life, but he tells us a strange way to do it. To win at life, we must come to understand a concept that is alien to our natural way of thinking. The world says you become a winner by winning - Jesus says you become a winner by losing. Our passage is so important it is recorded in each of the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). To save your life, you must lose it.
Jesus said, if you want to save yourself, then lose yourself in me. What did he mean? You save your life by losing yourself to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. We must give up the right to run our lives. Please listen very carefully to Jesus: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." There are no exceptions or exemptions -- everyone must do this to be a follower of Christ. This truth contradicts the world's idea of life. Instead of self-assertion, Jesus teaches self-denial. You can't be the captain of the ship of life. You must submit this right to Him, and lose your life in absolute surrender.
A.W. Toser said: "In every person's heart there is a cross and a throne. You are on the throne until you put yourself on the cross. If you refuse the cross, you remain on the throne. We all want to be saved, but we want Jesus Christ to do all the dying. We remain king within the little kingdom of our soul, wearing a tinseled crown of pride and we doom ourselves."
It's only when we come to Jesus and say, "I want to die to myself and put you on the throne of my life" that we find the secret of winning at life. Coming to know Christ is not just signing a card, walking down an aisle, or saying a prayer. It's when you say, "I give up -- I'm letting you take control of my life."
Here's what Jesus said in John 12:24, "I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds." A seed on a shelf produces nothing, but as the seed dies in the ground there comes resurrection of new life. When we die to self, there's a resurrection -- His life becomes evident in us.
Dietrich Bonhoffer, who died in a Nazi prison camp said this. "When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die." You save your life by losing it in Christ. Paul discovered this truth when he said, "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me" (Galatians 2:20 NIV).
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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