Losing Our Life For Jesus
By Steph Nickel
Are you prepared to lose your life for Jesus? Steph Beth Nickel discusses losing our life for Jesus and all that implies.
Lose Your Life For Jesus
Matthew 16:24-26 (ESV) says,
“Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?’”
There is much we can conclude from these three verses, but as always, it’s best to consider the meaning of a passage within context.
The Lord Jesus spoke these words after Peter objected to his Master’s revelation that He would “suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised,” as it says in verse 21 of the same chapter.
Jesus doesn’t challenge His followers to do what He was unwilling to do. He knew what It was to deny Himself. One of my favourite passages is Philippians 2. Verses 5-8 say, “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
Even if we surrender our lives for the cause of Christ, none of us will give up as much as Jesus did.
What Might We Lose?
Most of us won’t likely be called upon to die for our faith, but we are called to live sacrificially day by day. Just what may we be called upon to “lose” for the sake of finding life in Christ?
We may lose friends. And if we technically don’t lose them, they may spend less and less time with us, not wanting to hear about the Saviour and what He is doing in our lives.
And it is certainly possible some family members—whether immediate or extended—may become antagonistic toward us. This can lead to some real heartache. Choosing between following God and keeping the peace and closeness in our family can be one of the most difficult decisions we’re ever called on to make.
We may lose the respect of coworkers and neighbours when they learn of our faith. They may pull away. Even worse, they may deliberately make our lives difficult.
If our supervisor hears about our faith, they may seek to pressure us out of our job, possibly hiding their real motives behind one excuse after another.
If we lose our job, it is possible that we will lose some of the comforts many of us enjoy. We may have to turn in our car for an older model. We may have to sell our house and downsize. We may have to get rid of some of those luxuries we’ve come to take for granted: cable or satellite television, Internet access, our smartphone and unlimited data plan, etc.
Losing Things That Hinder Spiritual Growth
What if we recognize that certain things in our lives are hindering our spiritual growth and perhaps, the spiritual growth of others? Are we willing to “lose” these things? To lay them down for the sake of finding our life in Christ? The books we read. The television shows and movies we watch. The Internet sites we visit. The way we spend our leisure time. The way we spend our money.
There are many different opinions about what’s acceptable for a follower of Jesus Christ in these and other areas, but one thing is certain: It is important that we seek to honour the Lord in every area of our life.
And while there is freedom in Christ, it isn’t freedom to do whatever we want whenever we want. It’s freedom to overcome selfishness and self-centred desires. It’s freedom to rely on the strength God willingly pours out, the strength to put Him first and seek to bless others in everything we say and do. It’s freedom to spiritually soar above this world and see things from a new perspective.
What Lessons Can We Learn?
So, what lessons should we seek to teach our families?
Obedience to Jesus must always be our number one priority.
Not everyone will like it that we are Christians.
Some people may make fun of us. They may call us names. They may go out of their way to pick on us and bully us.
We enjoy many blessings, but none of them should be more important to us than living for the Lord.
Absolutely nothing is better than living a life that honours Him and truly blesses others, though there will be challenges along the way. Sometimes we may feel like things will never get better. We may be tempted to give up. That is why it is so important to get to know the Lord by reading His Word, praying, and spending time with other believers. When we don’t feel like we can go on, we must remember that Jesus set the ultimate example for us and will give us the strength we need to do what is right.
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Images courtesy of:
Joy – Roxana Anghel
Cross – Markus Biehal
Tv Remote – Sanja Gjenero
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