Giving Up Your Life

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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"If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it."

Matthew 10:39

There is a cost in following Jesus. Discipleship requires giving up our life for him and his kingdom. Of course, we are not called to human sacrifice in the way of some pagan religions. Rather, we give up our life by surrendering our agendas, our self-governance. We bow before the King of kings, offering all that we are to him for his purposes.

And then we find our life in a whole new key. We begin to experience eternal life, the life of the age to come. We find peace that passes understanding. We are empowered by the Spirit for ministry. We realize that our lives have eternal purpose and value. We discover the way of love as we put aside the way of selfishness.

When I became a Christian over forty years ago, I gave up my life to Jesus, at least as much as was possible for a young boy. Since that time, I've had to surrender my life to the Lord hundreds, perhaps thousands of times. Sometimes it has been scary to set aside my agenda and to take up God's plans for my life. But every time I have done this, I have experienced the promise of Jesus. I have found life to be richer, fuller, and more filled with the blessings of God's kingdom.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: When have you chosen to give up your life for Christ? What happened when you did this? What holds you back from giving yet more of yourself to the Lord? What gives you the confidence to surrender your life to Christ today?

PRAYER: Dear Lord, first of all, I must confess my continued tendency to cling to my life. I like my life. I like security and comfort. I like feeling as if I'm in control of my destiny. (I know this is silly, but I like the feeling nevertheless.) So when you call me to give up my life for you, I do want to cling, holding on hard. Forgive me, Lord.

Yet, by your grace, there have been times when I have indeed given up my life for you, only to receive it back tenfold, maybe a hundredfold. How good you have been to me! Thank you, Lord.

Help me to give up my life to you, not just every now and then, but every day, even every moment of every day. May I give myself to you at home and at work, when I'm sitting at the supper table and when I'm sitting around the boardroom table. May I live fully for you today. Amen.