Church of Christ
Locks Cross Roads
7) Matthew 10 - Seeking life, losing life
Matthew 10:39

The tragedy of the self-seeking, self-saving life is already pronounced by Jesus who knows it s certain outcome:  
such a person shall lose his life.  There is now doubt or discussion:  such a course is already doomed.  He who tries
to save his life, his marriage, his property, his position or anything else that is important to him at the expense of his
commitment to Christ, loses it all (John 12:42-43).

This principle is so far-reaching that even Jesus Himself could not escape it!  (John 12:24-25).  This is why He lays
down the challenge.  He knows that the only way to true happiness and real life, here and hereafter, is to SPEND
life, not sparing it, but serving others and so fulfilling God's purpose for us here (Matthew 5:43-48, Matthew 7:12).

He that loseth his life for my sake is not necessarily, although he certainly could be, a Christian martyr (Revelation
21:11).  Obviously a person could not take up his cross daily, if this meant martyrdom the first time around!  A
violent death is not to be preferred to a humble, self-denying life of daily service to intent on serving others that
one's own selfish ambitions dwindle and die from neglect.  This is the real loss of one's life for Jesus' sake.

Imagine the puzzlement of the selfish:  "But you don't have time for yourself any more!"  To this the saint responds:
"Really, I had not noticed, but, frankly, if you knew what a scoundrel I am, you would not have time for me either!"

Shall find it.  There is no faith where there is no risk.  In this exalted promise of Jesus it will try men's faith.  From this
point on, every one of Jesus' listeners must decide personally whether He knows what He is talking about, whether
HIS world is real.  Jesus' promises test a man's faith just as really as do His most exacting commands.

For my sake: this is the secret of Christ's power over men, the key to His ability to transform men from the
self-seeking, self-complacent, self-willed, ambitious rebels, into saints of God.  Once a man comprehends clearly
who Jesus is and what He has done for that one man, once that man desires to respond in gratitude for Jesus'
self-humiliation on the cross, there is no end to what that man will do for Jesus' sake (Matthew 5:11).

But the secret is our commitment, not to a system nor a doctrine nor even a way of looking at religion, but our sense
of belonging to Him (1st Peter 2:20-25).  Again we have a claim which is monstrous if He who makes it is not
conscious of being Divine.  Who is it that is going to own us or renounce us before God's judgment-seat (Matthew
10:32 and 33)?  Who is it that promises with such confidence that the man who loses his life for His sake shall find it?

And these momentous utterances are spoken as if the Speaker had no shadow of doubt as to their truth, and as if
He expected that His hearers would at once accept them.  What is more, thousands of Christians, generation after
generation, have shaped their lives by them and have proved their truth by repeated experience.

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