Day 6

January 8

Mark 8

“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 8:35)

Who is not interested in saving their lives, in making them worthwhile, full and rich, worth the living? Deep down within us, everyone of us has a hunger for life and a desire to find it, to the full extent of what it was designed to be. This is what Jesus is talking about. If this is what you want, He says, I'll tell you how to acquire it. There are two attitudes toward life that are possible, and you can have only one or the other.

One attitude is to save your life now: hoard it, clutch it, cling to it, grasp it, try to get ahold of it for yourself, take care of yourself, trust yourself, see that in every situation your first and major concern is, What's in it for me? That is one way to live, and millions are living that way today.

The other attitude is to lose it: fling it away, disregard what advantage there may be for you in a situation, and move out in dependence upon God, not caring what may happen to you. Abraham obeyed God, went out into a land he knew not where, on a march without a map, apparently careless of what would happen to him. His neighbors reproached and rebuked him for not caring about himself. This is to be a way of life, Jesus says. Trust God, obey Him, and put the responsibility for what happens on Him.

There are only two results that can follow. If you save your life, if you cling to it, hoard it, get all you can for yourself, then Jesus says you will lose it. This is not a mere platitude; He is stating a fundamental law of life. You will find that you have everything you want, but you will not want anything you have. You will find that all of the life you tried to grasp has slipped through your fingers, and you have ended up with a handful of cobwebs and ashes, dissatisfied, hollow and empty, mocked by what you hoped to get.

But lose your life for His sake and the Gospel. Lose your life by means of giving yourself away for the cause of Christ, give up your right to yourself, take up your cross and follow Him, and you will save it. You will not waste it, but you will save it. You will find contentment and satisfaction, an inner peace, and a sense of worth about your living. You will discover, not just in heaven someday but right now, that even though you may not have all the things others have, your life will be rich and rewarding and satisfying.

This is God's part in the work of discipleship. Jesus did not come to call us to ultimate barrenness, weakness, darkness, and death. He called us to life, to richness, to enjoyment, to fulfillment. Discipleship ends in life, not in death. It ends in fulfillment and satisfaction. But the only way that we can find it is by means of the cross.

Father, help me to make the choice for life, and not for death. That by Your power You will help me find the grace to say yes to You, Lord Jesus, and to enter into life by means of the cross.
Is relationship with Jesus radically changing our attitudes toward self and the way we live? What is God's plan for exchanging our death for His vibrant, timeless Life?

 
Pastor Bradley Roberts
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