Following Jesus isn't a matter of adding something on to your otherwise unchanged life. When you enter the kingdom of God, you acknowledge God's reign over your life and seek to honor him in all things as your king. Thus, in a sense, you lose your life because you give it over fully to God.But the ironic and wonderful truth is that, in giving up your life, you save it.
By surrendering fully to God, you receive eternal life, the life of the age to come, beginning right now. Moreover, you discover a new quality of living because your life has a purpose that will last forever.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Have you "lost your life" for the sake of Jesus and the kingdom? What keeps you from surrendering all that you are to God? What helps you to take new steps of submission to God's sovereignty?
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, your teaching here is so clear. Yet, it is also one of those truths I find extremely difficult to put into practice. What I want, Lord, is to hang on to my life and save it. All too often, I confess, that's exactly how I live. I honor you as Lord, but act according to my own desires and dictates. Forgive me for all the times I hang on to my life rather than hanging on to you and giving my life to you.
Today, Lord, help me to give up my life to you. May I seek you and submit to you in all things, whether I'm working or playing, whether I'm with my family or my colleagues. And as you give my life back to me with new meaning, may my service to you make a difference for your kingdom. Amen.
(Losing and Saving Your Life, The High Calling)