Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.”
Jesus said to His followers that following Him involves risking the safety, security and satisfaction we have found in this world. But in the end He said, following Him eternal life. A radical reward this world can never offer.
In Matthew 10, Jesus outlined the risks His disciples would face following Him. He told them they would be surrounded by great need. His instructions were: “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give” giving them a glimpse of the people the would encounter.
Jesus tells His disciples: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it” (Matt 16:24-25). Adding to that, Jesus tells them: “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”
In the early part of my journey helping people struggling with drugs and alcohol, sickness resulting from drug abuse, and broken families meant sacrificing the life I was accustomed to and counting the cost of making myself available as a vessel God could use to bring healing and deliverance to those vulnerable lives that had been lost in addiction. God was faith to bring many to a place of healing and wholeness through the love and care offered by the people who were willing to make the sacrifice of losing their natural life to serve those in need.
Surely Jesus would not send us into dangerous places for the sake of the gospel? Or would he? That means sacrifice. Jesus requires us to have enough faith to choose to die when it appears we have everything to live for in this world.
Are you willing to make this sacrifice for the sake of the gospel? Are you willing to lose your life to find it in Christ?
May the grace, joy, and peace of God be yours through Jesus Christ our loving Lord. To Him be glory, now and forever.
Note: All Scriptures are taken from the New International Version unless otherwise noted.