Now that is a counterintuitive title . . . “When Is Loss Gain?” At first glance, a loss of anything is a loss, no matter how you slice it. So how can loss be gain? The answer comes from above, and I want you to be encouraged by this truth today:
Whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. (Matthew 16:25)
Here our Lord Jesus Christ provided inspired insight into a loss that is great gain. Jesus said we must lose our life if we are ever going to find true life . . . and that is a life rooted in our Redeemer. The natural, unsaved man or woman simply cannot begin to comprehend this truth because those who are of this world maintain a desperate grip on everything, including life itself.
Let’s take a closer look at what Jesus wants us to know. When Jesus says we must “lose our life” for Him, He is telling us we must decide who will sit on the throne of our lives. When we seek to “save our lives,” we are sitting on the throne of our lives. We are living by self-rule. But when we “lose our lives for Jesus,” we give up ownership of ourselves and surrender complete control to Christ. Only when we are living surrendered lives do we begin to experience true life, because true life is only found in Christ.
When Paul said, “To live is Christ” (Philippians 1:21), he was telling us that abandonment to the Almighty is the pathway to finding a life that truly matters. Which was why he could continue his inspired message with the words, “And to die is gain.” Losing every aspect of this life for true life in Christ—including even life itself—was gain . . . unimaginable gain! We are to give up our goals, our dreams, our agendas, our plans, and our purposes for this life and completely surrender control of everything to Christ. And all of this must be done unconditionally. We cannot place conditions on our surrender. We must leave ourselves at the complete mercy (disposal) of the One we have surrendered to.
So . . . how well are you doing at losing your life in order to find it? It really comes down to the understanding of ownership. The Bible makes it perfectly clear that we are not our own; that we have been bought at a price, and that price was the precious life blood of the Lamb who purchased us. If you are holding back any part of your life from Jesus, you are seeking to save your life . . . and in the end you will lose it. Jesus wants all of your life because Jesus bought all of your life.
Make no mistake, God will tolerate no rival because our God is a jealous God (Exodus 20:5). Adam and Eve were created to be fully dependent upon their Creator. They were never to seek or find any aspect of life outside of their life with God and in God. But when they rebelliously declared their independence from God, seeking to save their lives . . . they lost their lives. In turning away from God, they denied their own humanity and became something contrary to their original nature. They died and we all died with them. But when Jesus raises us from death to life, we get a new, true life in Christ. From that moment on, we are to continually surrender control of our lives to Christ—daily—because in seeking to lose our lives, we actually find life!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!