Following Jesus is all about losing your life. In His eyewitness account of Christ, Luke wrote,
Then he said to them all,“If anyone wants to follow after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me will save it.”Luke 9:23-24 (CSB)
Our natural tendency as human beings is to try to hold on to our lives. We don’t want to give up control of our lives to anything or anyone. People want to be the captains of their souls. We seek to build our own kingdoms rather than to seek the Kingdom of Christ. The irony is that this pursuit of control is futile because only God is in control of everything that happens in our lives and in the universe.
Christ followers lose their lives to follow Jesus. We take up the cross of execution daily and die to ourselves so that we may live for Christ each day. This daily dying to self and this posture of losing our life for Christ are central to having Jesus Christ as Lord of our lives.
We follow Him and not ourselves. We look to Him for strength and not to ourselves. We seek His wisdom and not our own. We rely upon Him and not ourselves. We lose ourselves so that we may have Him. We become living sacrifices for Him. (Romans 12:1-2)
The world sees this as foolishness. They see Christ followers as losers; however, by losing ourselves to Christ, we become victors because of His grace and mercy. We experience victory over sin, death, and Hell. We lose ourselves to receive the gift eternal life from Him. We lose ourselves, yet receive Life Himself.
So Christ followers really lose nothing, but receive everything in Christ Jesus! He will never leave us, nor forsake us.
(Click here for more from Tim McKnight.)
Tim is the Director of the Global Center for Youth Ministry and Associate Professor for Youth Ministry & Missions at Anderson University. He is lead pastor/planter of Mosaic Church of Anderson. Tim is also the author of Engaging Generation Z (Kregel Academic), No Better Gospel (Seeds Publishing Group), and the author and editor of Navigating Student Ministry (B&H Academic). His comments do not reflect the views of his employers and are his own personal views on various subjects.