I’ll admit it, I’m kind of a weird guy, and not simply because I’m a Christian. I have a joking personality and somewhat of a weird thought process. My late uncle, a former co-worker, and wife all made a comical remark to me, “Dude, you’re not right.”
When I think about some of the things that I’ve done, words that I’ve said, or ideas that I’ve had I can’t help but chuckle and laugh to myself. I’m just a weird dude. Christianity is kind of weird as well. I mean, think about it, we gather together every Lord’s Day to eat His flesh and Blood. We let someone else dunk us into a big pool of water so we can have the forgiveness of sins. We give a large portion of our income to a Church mission. If you were not raised in the Church and knew nothing of Christianity, it would be a culture shock.
While Christians do things that are beyond our reason, that doesn’t make them unreasonable. Christians are certainly called to be different, but not delusional. They are called out to be holy, but not crazy. They are commanded to pick up a cross, not pick their noses. While I’m not delusional or crazy (and I only pick my nose when I’m alone or with someone) the Cross bids me to come, lose my life, and pick up my own cross.
When Jesus spoke to His disciples He said, “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matt. 10:39 NIV). Interestingly enough, Matthew uses the word “psuché” for “life.” This is the word for “soul.” What did Jesus mean by this statement? Simply put, if we are not ready and willing to surrender ourselves to the Father, even to the point of death, we cannot save ourselves. In fact, the exact opposite will occur. We will be lost. We will aimlessly wander through the desert. Faithfulness requires wholehearted devotion. There is no room for divided loyalties or partial affection. Jesus requires all of us.
This is what it means to love God with “all our soul” (Matt. 22:37). We must unselfishly serve the Lord. We must do what needs to be done regardless of our personal comfort or cost. We must praise the Lord most high while carrying our cross. We must surrender our selfishness and self-seeking life. We must relinquish control of our possessions, powers, and interests to the will of the Father. We must boldly proclaim, “Jesus is Lord” even if it costs us our life.
It is only through this ultimate surrender we can discover true life, “whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” It is a great Christian paradox. The only way we find our lives is to lose it. The only way to live is to die. When we lose our worldly value, we find a heavenly value that makes life worth living! This might seem weird, but remember, we are too.
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