Then Jesus said to his followers, "If any person wants to follow me, he must say 'No' to the things he wants. That person must accept the cross (suffering) that is given to him, and he must follow me. The person that wants to save his life will lose it. And every person that gives his life for me will save it. It is worth nothing for a person to have the whole world, if he loses his soul. A person could never pay enough to buy back his soul."
— Matthew 16:24-26 NLT
Up is down. Down is up. The high cost is cheap. The cheap cost is high. First will be last. Last will be first. The least will be greatest. Jesus preached an upside down Kingdom. In many ways, his values are against "Conventional Wisdom." Instead, Jesus teaches a "Redemptional Wisdom"—a wisdom that calls us to surrender our lives to the will of God, live for him, and serve others. It is in giving up our lives for something and Someone greater that we truly find life.
There are so many things we can invest our lives in that ultimately become our masters. The harder we work to attain them, the more we find we have lost that vital essence of living that is God's gift to us.
The radical example and call of Jesus is to follow him in laying down our lives to honor God and redeem others—there are no short-cuts. The cross casts its shadow over all of us.
Holy God, you are worthy of my life. Of all the competing voices vying for my time and attention, you along have shown a sacrificial love to redeem me. I trust your truth for my guide. As I seek to surrender to your will, please empower me to live with courage and conviction in a world which often hates and ridicules you. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Related Scripture Readings
- John 12:23-26
- Revelation 12:10-11
- Revelation 2:11
About This Devotional
What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.
What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.