Are We Leading or Following?

And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 35 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.” Mark 8.34-35

Jesus is speaking to His followers powerful truth here. (1) Whosoever will come after me … is He talking to you? If so, prepare your heart for what He is about to say next: (2) let him deny himself … wow! That’s a call to experience life in a totally different way than we are accustomed to doing. But what’s next: (3) take up his cross and follow me … when someone is carrying a cross, everyone who sees him or her knows it. It is a distinct picture that one cannot avoid. What is distinct about your life that identifies you with Jesus? You are not carrying a literal, physical cross, but your life must have something distinct in it that cries, “Look at Him. Look at Jesus. He changed my life. He can change yours!”

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it … ” When we say to God, “this is my life. I’ll do with it what I want”, we have chosen to save our life for our own selfish purposes, but we will ultimately lose it. I didn’t say that. Jesus did. To complete the words that Jesus said, let’s look: “whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.” What does that mean? Could it mean that if we are willing to go “all in” for the Lord, that we have lost our life for Christ’s sake and the sake of the gospel, we have finally discovered what life is all about? Jesus was pretty clear: “the same shall save it.” What is the wiser choice, to save your life for yourself and lose it, or to lose your life for Jesus and His gospel and save it? We already know the answer. Let’s “just do it” (thanks Nike). Just my thoughts …

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