Give It Up
Luke 9:23 “Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me. 24 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.”
We concluded yesterday’s devotional by saying that the glory that comes from you going to the cross is more important than the temporal victory you are seeking. For this reason, sometimes, God will allow His children go through the “burner” so that they can come out as fine gold. People will call you an overnight success because they do not know the press you have gone through. But why the “burner”? Jesus explains why in Jn.12:24 “Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” (NRSV, with emphasis). For many of us, the vision God has given to us is like that grain of wheat. We are polishing the grain, taking selfies with it, posting it on Facebook and on instagram, and twitting about it. Selfies cannot multiply the vision, except the grain falls to the ground and dies, it abides alone.
The way of God is the path of the cross that leads to the resurrection. God has not called us just to live a crucified life, God has called us to live a resurrected life – huge difference. Unfortunately, a lot of people are jumping ship because they do not want to pay the price. The story is told of the captain of a popular cruise line, called Captain Schettino. Captain Schettino while directing the affairs on the ship one day, encountered a problem, and the ship was about to capsize. Guess what Captain Schettino did? He jumped off the ship and swam to shore to call a rescue party. The rescue party was curious to know who was on the other end of the line and he told them he is the captain of the ship. “Where are you?” they asked, and he said he was by the light house, onshore. “You abandoned your ship?” they asked, he said, “I came to make the call!”
They told him to go back to the ship because a captain does not leave his ship. A pilot does not leave his aircraft. So why would a man abandon his family, jump ship when things are tough? Captain Schettino had to swim back. The captain does not abandon his ship, it is a principle of life. It is easy to look at Captain Schettino and conclude that he was an irresponsible man. But if you are true to yourself, you will admit that you have been tempted to jump ship, tempted to preserve yourself. Sometimes, it is only when you give up your life, that you actually find your life. In fact, with God, you have to actually give up your life to actually find your life.
Prayer: Lord, today I reaffirm that I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who lives, but Christ lives in me. I live by trusting in Jesus daily [Gal.2:20], in Jesus Name. Amen!