“For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” Mt. 16:25………
“He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” John 12:25……….
“For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” Mark 8:35-37………..
We all have our likes and dislikes, loves and hates, if we’re honest with ourselves, don’t we? Anyone who knows me well knows this about me. I love the Lord Jesus Christ more than anything and anyone in the universe, and I absolutely hate cold weather and the winter climate, so much so that I was horrified when He sent me up North years ago from the beautiful warm South, BEGGED Him to send me back to the South after some years which He did, and was horrified all over again when I discovered what I thought would be a short revisit up North turned out to be staying through the freezing cold North winter! So why for Christ’s sake would I be foolish enough when I am perfectly capable with my work of living anywhere in the country let alone world to choose to STAY right in a climate I hate, let alone in a location for all intents and purposes I truly did not want to be, and still don’t?
For one reason alone, and for the very same reason I am writing this message FOR YOU WHO ARE READING THIS. I am choosing to be in a climate I hate, in a place I would not have chosen to be, FOR CHRIST’S SAKE, because my LOVE FOR CHRIST is greater than anything else, because I live to love and serve and obey and revere and honor and praise and worship and enjoy and bring glory to the Lord God almighty through faith in Jesus Christ who died on the cross and rose from the dead so I could repent, believe in Him as Lord, truly devote my life to Him, and receive forgiveness and an everlasting relationship with God. What matters most? My comfort, my likes and dislikes, my loves and hates on this earth, or THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, Lord of Lords, King of Kings, God almighty, the one I love, the one for whom I live? What matters most, my little life or God’s forever glory?
Does this make me unique? That I have likes and dislikes, loves and hates? NO! We all do, right? That I live for Christ? That I choose God’s will over my preferences, my comfort, my convenience? This should NOT make me unique, for we are ALL created to live for God. But how many of us actually are? For years, I told the world I believe in Christ and love God, but I lived for SELF. I am not alone in this. Many, many, many people are calling themselves Christians and living for SELF, based on what they like and love, what makes them comfortable, what makes them happy, according to the world’s standards, based on their dreams and desires. This is NOT how God calls us to live. We are called to live to love and glorify Him forever!
At the end of the day, it won’t be about whether or not we call ourselves Christians, about whether or not we say we believe in Jesus Christ as Lord, about whether we attended church and read our Bibles. For genuine faith in Christ as LORD and as SAVIOR will be demonstrated in the way we live every day of our lives on this earth. Are we living for ourselves, in the “climate” that makes us feel good so we can fulfill our agendas, goals, plans, and fill our calendars with what’s convenient and yummy and tasty and brings pleasure to the flesh with no regard to Christ, or are we living for God almighty and willing to forsake our personal preferences for Christ’s sake? If you think the fleeting fulfillment of living for SELF compares to the utter joy and thrill and excitement and phenomenal blessedness of living as close as possible in intimate and personal fellowship with Jesus Christ now and forever, perhaps you have not tasted of the bread of life, Christ, and drunk the living water of the Spirit of God, and filled yourself up with the Word of God, the Bible, and truly dedicated yourself breath by breath, moment by moment, to living for the one who is Lord of all, oh glory be to the Savior, to the Lord, to the God, the one true God, of the universe, hallelujah, oh, give yourself to Him, give yourself truly and utterly and at last – to Christ!