Luke 17:33 “Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.”
When my son was a teenager he would sometimes (as a joke) look at me and put the sign of an “L” over his forehead and say, “Loser.” Especially if I was trying to inflict some of my old-fashioned mom stuff on him. He is a grown man now with children of his own, but sometimes I want so badly for him to look at me and make the “L” and say those words. I know crazy right?
It is the little things that they do that when they grow up it becomes so dear to you, even their funny ways of asking you to “not” instruct them about “what you used to do as a child :)”
Anyway, I was reading the other day and came across this passage in another devotion I was reading and it asked the question “Aren’t we all losers if we follow Christ, or shouldn’t we be?” You’re probably going, What?
We as followers of Christ should not be the ones climbing the ladder of life by running over the person ahead of us. We should not be so worldly-minded that we have no time to be kind, thoughtful, helpful, inconvenienced etc. When we follow Christ we are to lay down our lives, surrender our wants for those that glorify God. We surrender our pride, our fleshy wants, the carefully thought out plans.
We are to spend the precious hours we have on this earth serving the way Jesus did, not racing to get the next best thing out there. Loving and serving like Christ did is sometimes hard. Sometimes he calls you to a path that is not laden with all the good stuff this life has to offer, it is hard and maybe even lonely. Other’s look at you and think wow, what a (loser. )They are living in that old house, driving that old car, wearing those old clothes. Why don’t they get a real job and make something of themselves? Look at me, I’ve got the tiger by the tail and I am on my way!
To lose oneself for Christ’s sake is what we are told to do in this verse. We are to live not as this world tells us we should, but a life surrendered to Christ, even if it means you never get recognized for anything you do. Even if it is inconvenient and hard. We are told that if we lose our lives here, we gain our lives in heaven. This is the place we will spend eternity and anything we give up or do for Christ is like depositing treasure into a treasure chest and it will be kept for us. God takes notice of you, he sees those things you do even in secret in his name.
When you spend all your days gaining this world and you cannot be bothered long enough to be inconvenienced or to help another then you are missing out. And maybe, you should check your heart and makes sure you really do know this Jesus as Lord and Savior. If heaven and what pleases Christ never enters your mind, you should be worried. God does not call us to be rich, to be selfish, to live as though we have to get it all in before we die. He calls us to love, be forgiving, to serve, to help, to point others to him.
Love is an action word. It requires something of us. If we love like Jesus did, then none of those things will bother us. We will live surrendered, doing those things, even the not so fun ones for him with a joy that others notice. We will be the low man on the totem pole and it won’t bother us.
I am a loser as far as the world is concerned. I do not have a fancy house, I do not have a new car, I do not wear designer clothes, I do not have any degrees, I have never been to college, the list could go on and on. Instead, I want my life to be like a drink offering to Christ, poured out for him, for his pleasure. I want to be his hands and feet to those in need. Going and doing those things that he calls me to. I want the bobbles of this world to fade into the distance. Nothing here will go with us there, it will all be left behind. Losing your life for Christ really is gaining it. I don’t want to have so much here, that leaving it behind brings me to tears or causes me to worry over it. We need to travel light through this land that is not our own.
The people in Noah’s time went about buying, selling, going, doing all for themselves with no thought toward God, and when the flood came they were not prepared and died. Will you be caught unaware? Going about this life thinking you are okay with the Lord? Never giving heaven a thought, never sacrificing self and self-wants for greater things? Will you lose your life to gain life? Or will you keep going at break-neck speed grabbing all you can and hoping to gain your treasure in heaven as well?
I am not saying there are not solid, sold-out to Jesus rich people on this earth. I know some. I am saying what do you do with it? What master do you serve? You cannot serve both! Are you a (loser) for Christ’s sake? Do his wants trump your wants? Do you seek him with your whole heart? Are you laying up treasure in heaven where moth and rust cannot get it or are you laying all your treasure up here on this earth?
Unlike what the televangelist who tell us, we are not all called to have it all here. Be happy and wealthy now. We do not need a seed offering given in hopes of gaining riches. Why do they always talk about earthly wealth? Think about it, all of them are filthy rich, living their best life now. I will leave you to ponder just that.
Yes, I am a (loser) for Christ and I would not change a thing, other than trying to surrender even more of me. Sometimes there is still too much of me left.