What Jesus Did! 'Redemptional Wisdom' — Matthew 16:24-26

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?"
— Matthew 16:24-26 NLT

Key Thought

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.

Today's Prayer

Holy God, you are worthy of my life. Of all the competing voices vying for my time, attention, and money, you alone 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


Other Devotionals from Heartlight for Sunday, August 8, 2021

The classic twice-daily devotional from Charles H. Spurgeon.
"Many professed Christians are always doubting and fearing, and they forlornly think that this is the necessary state of believers. This is a mistake,...."
A one-year devotional guide through the book of Acts.
"When they arrived in Jerusalem, Barnabas and Paul were welcomed by the whole church, including the apostles and elders. They reported everything God...."
A daily passage of Scripture emphasizing praise to our God.
"Great is the LORD! He is most worthy of praise! ... Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts; let them proclaim your power."
A daily dose of Christian quotes to inspire and encourage.
"If Christians had ever been brave enough to make Christ alive, nobody would now be saying that Christianity is dead."


Illustration of Matthew 16:24-26 NLT — "If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me."

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 and is available in book form.

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.