That’s a strange title for today’s word of encouragement, isn’t it? “When death is not death!” How is that even possible? Well, with God all things are possible!
Whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.
(Matthew 16:25 NKJV)
Death is not death when we are dying for Jesus. What an incredible promise from our Lord! The call of Christ to die is really a call to life . . . the only life worth living. You see, when we are living for anything smaller than Jesus, no matter how much “life” we may think that brings us, it is really nothing more than death. Jesus knows that if we are left to ourselves, we will always pursue the “stuff” of this life rather than our Savior. We pursue . . .
When we pursue what we want apart from what Jesus wants for us, we are attempting to save our life. We think we are going after true life, but it is nothing more than death wearing a mask of life. The apostle John clearly warns us:
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world — the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does — comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.
(1 John 2:15-17)
Make no mistake, the call of Christ is indeed costly; it will cost us everything! Jesus demands nothing less . . . and to be sure, He deserves nothing less. Our sinful hearts are actually suicidal as they drive us to seek to satisfy self rather than the Savior. Jesus has called us to lay down our lives—our goals, dreams, agenda, plans, desires, wants—and pursue Him as our first priority in life.
Remember, the Bible never tells us to seek Jesus. It tells us to seek Him first (Matthew 6:33). When we lose our lives in our Lord, we begin to find the life we were created to live. By nature, we pursue stuff that will never satisfy us; in the end, we discover we have cut ourselves off from the only source of life: Jesus Christ. We pursue what this world offers to us as “life,” but even if we get it all, we will inevitably come to the devastating realization that we have missed out on the only thing we truly need. I cannot think of anything worse than that! Can you?
So . . . what have you been living for lately? What have you been dying for lately? What changes would you need to make to lose your life for the sake of your Savior . . . only to find the life you were truly made to live?
Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!