One day I accidentally dropped a large paper clip into the crack between the seat cushion and the back of the couch in our den. In trying to retrieve it I pulled out a ballpoint pen, then another, and then another. I never did find my paper clip.
Not a bad trade-off—three pens for one paper clip! Maybe I should drop another paper clip down the crack.
Loss is bearable if we get something better in return. In everyday life we are perfectly willing to exchange our hard-earned dollars for something we really need or want, especially if it’s a real bargain.
Jesus said, “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matthew 16:25). He had just said that we must deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him (verse 24; see Galatians 2:20; 5:24; 6:14).
We must give up ourselves (our own desires and comfortable, familiar ways of thinking and living) and instead let Christ determine our values and goals.
We let Him own us completely instead of our trying to direct our own little world.
In exchange, He promises us life that is life indeed (John 10:10). But if we’re not willing to let go of ourselves, then we’re the ultimate losers.
If we should trust Jesus enough to do as He directs, will we be disappointed in the long run? Does Jesus offer what He can’t deliver? Can He be trusted?
The Rich Young Ruler was unwilling to make the trade—and he was sad (Matthew 19:16-22). Paul was willing—and he was glad (Philippians 3:4-14).
Are we willing to stake everything we’ve got on the conviction that His way is best for us—and that someday we will be glad we took Him up on it?
Ever so glad!
Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/
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