The Great Exchange
TAKE 2 minutes FOR TRAINING
Jesus said a lot of things that we like to repeat, “Love your neighbour” “Blessed are the poor” “You are the salt of the earth.”
But, He also said some things that make a lot of us uncomfortable.
Like this, for example, “If any of you want 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 and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it.” (Mark 8:34, 35 NLT)
That denying of self stuff – I admit it; it has always made me squirm a little.
This time when I read it, though, I thought about it a little more deeply.
What exactly, I asked myself, would giving up my own way, or denying myself actually look like?
We tend to think that denying ourselves and giving up our lives is some giant sacrifice. And yet, is it? Because, in truth, my life – without Christ, is not exactly worth hanging onto.
Most of us can identify with some, and maybe all of the following:
Without Christ, maybe you are someone who:
. cares too much what other people think
. never really feel like you are enough to step up and do what needs to be done
. maybe you’re insecure and you feel unlovable
. maybe you are quick to defend yourself, to promote yourself, to crave the respect of others
The gospel – the good news of Jesus – this denying, or dying, of ourselves and exchanging that for life in Christ,
. that’s an exchange of caring what others think, for the enduring approval of our heavenly Father.
. that’s an exchange of never feeling we are quite enough, for working alongside the Holy Spirit and trusting the results to Him;
. the good news of the gospel is an exchange of limited human love, for the unconditional love of God as shown through Jesus on the cross.
. it’s trading me first for God first; and then others.
And that’s incredibly freeing.
Let’s not make the mistake of thinking that the Good News of the Gospel is only about heaven & hell. Eternal life doesn’t start when we die… it has already started.
How can you deny yourself, or die to yourself, today for the sake of the Good News?
Training-by Skill, by Trainer
TRAINER: L Falk-staff team, EDM
SOURCE: Recorded for TAKE2
POSTED: Feb 2018
MUSIC: Wild Illusion by Nikolaos Taramanidis