Food for thought…
Consider the following statement by Jesus from the Amplified Bible
And He said to all, If any person wills to come after Me, let him deny himself [disown himself, forget, lose sight of himself and his own interests, refuse and give up himself] and take up his cross daily and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying also]. For whoever would preserve his life and save it will lose and destroy it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he will preserve and save it [from the penalty of eternal death]. For what does it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and ruins or forfeits (loses) himself? (Luke 9:23-25)
Let’s break this down into digestible parts…
I - The Invitation
1 - And He said to all, If any person wills to come after Me
II - The Conditions
1 - Let him deny himself
~ disown himself
~ forget himself
~ lose sight of himself
~ and his own interests
~ refuse himself
~ and give up himself
2 - Take up his cross daily
~ Day by day
3 - Follow Me
~ Cleave steadfastly to Me
~ Conform wholly to My example in living
~ If need be, in dying also.
III - The Paradox
1 - For whoever would preserve his life and save it - will lose and destroy it
2 - Whoever loses his life for My sake, he will preserve and save it from the penalty of eternal death
IV - The Question
1 - For what does it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and ruins or forfeits (loses) himself?
I’m convinced that God’s ways are not our ways. (see Isaiah 55:9-9) He has a way for us to follow that is contrary to our logical expectations of how things ought to go. There are surprises ahead, are we ready for them? Are we really?
Lord, change my way of thinking so that it aligns with your way of thinking, amen.
© Tom Zawacki 2007
Art Credit: Crossroads by Jack Bornoff