Whoever Loses His Life

by Scarlett Stough

For the Scripture References and related Bible Study Guide, go to Bible Study Guide: What It Means To Know Me.

Jesus emphasized self-denial, losing our life style, setting aside those wants and goals which are in opposition to God’s purpose. He promised the new life would have rewards beyond anything we could imagine. Some have lost their physical lives for a temporary high from cocaine or some other drug. What they gained was death, a shortened life. Jesus promised eternal life to those who would give up a life lived for pleasure, (which in reality delivers only death), in order to live a life for him and with him.

If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.

What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?

Luke 9:23-25

Following Christ is not an easy life, but it is a life with purpose. It is a life with a future that does not end with the death of the body. Everyone on this earth has troubles, but those who aim to live as Jesus lived experience personal transformation as a result of facing those troubles with the courage and wisdom God gives. There can be grief and conflict, but there is also hope, joy and peace. It is a life rich with beauty appreciated, love shared, relationships that last, and a contentment that comes only from knowing God. Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ said:

But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ---the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.

Philippians 3:7-11

God, through the prophet Jeremiah, told us what it means to know him:

"Woe to him who builds his palace by unrighteousness, his upper rooms by injustice, making his countrymen work for nothing, not paying them for their labor…..Does it make you a king to have more and more cedar? Did not your father have food and drink? He did what was right and just, so all went well with him. He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" declares the Lord. "But your eyes and your heart are set only on dishonest gain, on shedding innocent blood and on oppression and extortion."

Jeremiah 22:13-17

The above passage was written after Jeremiah was sent to Shallum son of Josiah who succeeded his father as king of Judah, but he did not rule righteously and justly. We may not be kings or queens, but we do have families and jobs. If we claim to know God, our lives today ought to show it in how we treat our families and manage our businesses, whether it be as CEO of a corporation or the head of household or homemaker. Whatever we might gain in this life by injustice is not worth losing the life we could have had by living a godly life (Matthew 7:21-27).

Volume 13 Issue 03 | Notes from Nancy | Women in Christ Commentary | Bible Study Guide | Abundance of the Heart | Exhortation | Book Review

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Matthew 7:21-27: "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'

"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."

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