Table of Contents
“He Who Finds His Life Will Lose It”
Jesus Christ taught His followers, “He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matthew 10:39). Here, the Lord taught that he who tries to gain the world’s pleasures in those things that, from a worldly point of view, are needed for happiness without paying attention to the spiritual matters, will lose his eternal life. The Lord presented the same message on different times (Matthew 16:25; Mark 8:35; Luke 9:24; Luke 17:33; John 12:25).
The prodigal son thought by leaving home he will “find” real happiness (Luke 15:12, 13). But the opposite was true for he had a very sad experience when he lost all. Consequently, he found himself a new experience and began to see how unwise he had been. He came to see the things of life in their true fleeting light. And this made him return to his loving father (Luke 15:17–20).
A person who thinks to “find” life by living for the things of this world is in reality working “for the food which perishes” (John 6:27). He lacks the ability to comprehend the lessons of life except when these come to him in the form of financial need, sickness, or trouble. He who tries to catch the mirage of life, usually, finds that it soon disappears. Here, Jesus does not rebuke the work that is necessary to have a livelihood. His rebuke is given to those who do their work to the point of ignoring their spiritual needs.
The Eternal Glories
The person who is willing to give up the trills and excitements that this world has to offer, “choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season” (Hebrews 11:25), will really save his soul and will find true lasting eternal happiness. Such a one has a true sense of reality. Like Paul, this person is willing to give up everything this life has to offer to gain the greatest honor of knowing Jesus Christ and sharing in His sufferings (Philippians 3:8, 10).
The Bible teaches that only when a grain of wheat is placed in the ground and dies can it give birth to new life (John 12:24, 25). Similarly, only when a man buries his self, does he discover the true goal of his life. In following Christ, there is a cross to bear. Christ said, “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me” (Matthew 10:38).
To take up the cross of Christ and follow Him means to bear without murmur the bad treatment of others and the scorn of men with humility. The one who is called upon to take up his cross to follow Christ has the greatest advantage of fellowship with Christ in His sufferings (Philippians 3:10).
The apostle Paul welcomed these sufferings as it gave him a closer connection with his Savior. A partial record of the apostle’s sufferings (2 Corinthians 11:23–27) reveals the great degree to which he did share in his Master’s pains. This was fulfilled in two ways: (1) By Paul’s daily experiences. He shared in Christ’s humility, His love, and His sorrow over sin. Therefore, he was able to say: “I die daily” (1 Corinthians 15:31); “I am crucified with Christ” (Galatians 2:20). (2) By Paul’s willingness to die if death should be necessary. For many years death has chased the apostle, and he did not try to run away from it (Acts 20:22–24).
In His service,