Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 16:24, 25 ESV)
Jesus makes it clear that to follow him means to abandon any claims on the your own life. You exchange your mission for his, your agenda for his, your interests for his. Everything gets turned upside down. But before we begin thinking that’s a bad thing we must consider the result – that we find life, particularly eternal life. That doesn’t just mean living forever, but living forever in a restored relationship with God. It is to live as we were designed to live, with complete harmony with God, others, and creation. It is to know shalom, peace and contentment, and the “inexpressible and glorious joy” that salvation brings. But there is no room for other things. You can’t have one foot in the world and another with Jesus.
Lord, thank you for the promise of the gospel and the glory of a restored relationship with you! Protect me from my own sinfulness and enable me to live more and more to Christ, willing to die every day.