Losing a Life to Save It
by Abiding Love
Mark 8 — Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.
Who wants to lose their life? Nothing bothers us more than to see the senseless loss of life. Nothing stirs us up more than the threat of our life being lost.
Then, again, in some moments someone may willingly lose their life. We have all heard the story about the assistant football coach at Stoneman Douglas High School, Aaron Feis, who lost his life when he threw himself in front of students to protect them from oncoming bullets. One woman who spoke on behalf of the football program said, “He died the same way he lived — he put himself second.”
There are things more precious than protecting our own lives. We learned this from Jesus. 1 John says, “This is how we know what love is — Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.” And in another place, “God demonstrated his own love for us in this — while we were still sinners Christ died for us.”
Consider what that means. Jesus died for sinners. He died for the ungodly. He died for the rebels. He died for us. He died because he loved those who weren’t worthy to be loved. Yet Christ loved us anyway and demonstrated it by giving his life as an atonement for our sins. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who died for us and was raised again.
He who loved us and died to redeem us from sin and death, now calls us lay down our lives for him. This doesn’t necessarily mean we will die for Jesus (although it could). But it means that we will lose our old ways of life. We will lose our old life filled with so many earthly idols and purposes and live for His kingdom. We will lose living for ourselves and follow Jesus in obedience. This is the cross Jesus calls us to bear on a daily basis. To crucify our old sinful desires, to lose that old way of life, and to walk in the new life of faith and love toward our Savior-King.
And as we lose that old way of life, look at what happens. We actually find that our life is saved. We find that in Jesus we have found a better life, an eternal one.
Peace in Jesus,
Pastor John Gensmer
September 20, 2023
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