It could be that you read Mark 8:34 yesterday and balked. Jesus tells you that to come after Him means to deny yourself and maybe that just seems like too much for you. In our minds, we think we get ahead in life by holding on to what we have and trying to add more…but following Jesus is counter-cultural and thus the blessings of following Jesus come in counter-cultural ways. Read the next verse today: For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. Mark 8:35
Wait, what? Saving=Losing? Losing=Saving? I need somebody to ’splain’ this to me. :)
This verse is Jesus trying to help us if we were the one who didn’t like the idea of denying ourselves because we worried we would get to experience the fulness of life if we did so. He teaches that it is by denying ourselves that we WILL experience the full life He promised us in John 10:10. Jesus teaches us here that we don’t have the ability to save our own life therefore when that is our focus it will simply whisp away like sand through our fingers - Whoever would save his life will lose it. But, if we will give our life freely to God - our time, our talents, our treasure - we will find that even though it may look as if we are losing those things, we will actually gain life. We will invest into the Kingdom and the interest will be a full and satisfying life! We will give of our blessings and find out that the well is deeper than we thought. Whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.
Now, this doesn’t mean we can just go and throw our life in any direction and hope that we will get something in return. That isn’t good stewardship. Jesus is calling you to a life of denying/losing yourself for His sake and the sake of the Gospel. That means you give of yourself and you do so specifically for the purpose of elevating Him and His message of salvation. Does your life look that way? What are you being called to lose today? If you lost it, what would you have really lost compared to eternity?
You can read the whole Bible text here: http://www.esvbible.org/Mark%208%3A34-38/
For more devotional thoughts you can visit www.windcitychurch.org/blog/ . We meet for worship at 3:16pm each Sunday at The Link at 353 W. A Street in downtown Casper. Be Our Guest on Sunday or at one of our Missional Communities that meet at various times and locations around the Casper Metro Area.