Saturday, October 25, 2014

October 24 – For all of us

The one who loves his life will lose it, and the one who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.  (John 12:25 HCSB)

This is one of Jesus’ teachings that appears in all four gospels, and even rephrased twice in the book of Matthew.  This statement is crucial.  It teaches the foundation of what our lives as Christians should be – a sacrifice to Him.

Obviously we all love our lives.  We love to have control over as much of our lives as possible.  Even people with suicidal tendencies long for control to such a degree that they think they know better than God, and want to take measures into their own hands to end their lives.  So when Jesus teaches that the one who hates his life in this world keeps it for eternal life, He is definitely not referring to a self-destructive mindset.  He is speaking about surrender, not suicide.

The vast majority of people who warm church seats pray and sing and love hanging onto their lives.  How many Christians are eager to reach out to those in need, and how many are angered at the evil and injustice of this world to such a point that they cry out to God and search for ways to be used by Him to right these wrongs?  How many would be happy to give up their jobs and homes to serve others and further God’s Kingdom if He asked?  Not many.  They may claim to be angered by evil and injustice, but that’s only visible when they’re yelling at the radio on their drive to work, listening to the daily news.  Not that God asks everyone to give up all of their possessions to give to the poor all the time, but He does ask us all to “hate our lives in this world,” for His sake.  

This attitude of the willingness to surrender is not just for a select few, for the pastors and missionaries who travel to far-flung corners of the earth. This is for those who want to find eternal life.  This is for all of us. 

What do you know God is asking of you that you keep saying no to?  What do you do for God that inwardly causes you to gripe and groan?  What worries do you have that keeps you from surrendering your life to Him heart and soul?  Do you fear that if you die to your flesh, you’ll be a prisoner to a religious life?  Do you think that if God asks something of you that you’ll never have joy again?  Die to those thoughts.  Hate this pitiful scrap of life that you are trying so hard to control here on earth, and lose it all for Him.  He will give you far more than you ever imagined, but holding onto what you have will never allow you to even taste the abundance of life that He has for you.  

Remember His promise, I have come to give you life, and life to the full.  His life is worth trading our own for by far. 

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