In my Sunday School class we have been studying Gods word through a book called “Not A Fan.” It’s premise is that many people attending church are fans of Jesus, not followers. The primary scripture is Luke 9:23 where Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves, take up his cross and follow me.”
Jesus then goes deeper and tells his disciples in verse 24, “Whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” The Greek word for “save” is sozo which means, “to save, to keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction.” The Greek word for “lose” is apollymi which means, “to destroy, to render useless, to declare that one must be put to death, to perish, to be lost, or ruined.”
The more I dwelt on these verses the more clear it became to me: I will lose my life; I don’t have a choice. It will either be lost in my attempts to save it, or I can choose to lose it for Christ.
It boils down to the choice of where, what or who we lose it to. If you seek to save your life and be “safe and sound” you will typically chase after things like:
– A comfortable living
The list is never ending, but make no mistake, you will trade your life for whatever it is you chase after. Every decision we make has a give and take. Every opportunity that crosses our path comes at a price.
That price is “me.”
The world changes us. Decisions have consequences. Opportunities will cost us. The truth is we lose our lives to one of two places, either the world or to The Lord. The real question isn’t: “should I sacrifice my life?” but “to whom or what will I sacrifice my life to?”
Who do you think loves you more, the world or The Living God who sacrificed His only begotten Son for your sake? Who wants great things for you? The world or your Heavenly Father?
Who wants to use you for their advantage? The world or the one who knew all about you before you were in your mother’s womb?
Since sacrificing your life isn’t an option, then a wise person would choose to follow the path that offers love, protection, strength, wisdom and eternal life.
In Philippians 3:12-16 Paul encourages us to be mature and to press on to “win the prize” God has called us to. The confusion comes when we mistake what “the prize” is. If the prizes we seek are found here on earth we will want to follow God, but inevitably we will rationalize walking the world’s paths.
When we finally define the prize we are truly seeking and identify the prizes along the paths of the different opportunities in front of us, deciding which path to take becomes a lot easier.
You must stop worrying about if you should sacrifice your life or not; you are going to. It’s a done deal.
The decision of how you sacrifice your life is found in your goals; what prize are you really seeking? What are you chasing after? Where your treasure is, there your heart is as well. You will chase what you desire, and you will sacrifice your life for one prize or another.
Sacrifice yourself wisely, my friends!