Losing something is never pleasant and can cause great discomfort. Losing your keys could mean you won’t be able to get in your car or house. Losing a job becomes unpleasant by putting a burden on finances, and losing a loved one to death is an emotional hardship. In such circumstances there’s no gain that can be seen in losing, but, what if a small loss could result in a great gain?
Life as a Christian comes with many requirements to obtain a more Christ-like life, which means there will be many things lost that aren’t of Christ. We find in this chapter Christ sending His 12 apostles with specific commands, warning them about the persecution to come, and encouraging them by telling them not to fear those who can only kill the body. In the verses 34-38 Christ gives examples of those things that will have to be lost in order to prove your love for Him, and ends out the chapter with the reward when you fully receive Him.
Often times as Christians we find that before salvation there were many things we had attachments to, and once we come into knowledge of God we are no longer to be attached to those things if they will lead us from salvation or affect our worship of God. At first it’s easy to let go because of the fire and desire within to please the Lord. Trials come and the enemy will suggest you start searching for your old life that brought you comfort. He’ll have you thinking following Christ caused you to lose everything you loved and now what you are left with is pain and suffering. Christ already told you pain, suffering, and persecution were to be expected when you take up your own cross and follow Him. He also told you there is a reward for receiving Him and going through the trials. During your going through you may experience God giving you some of the reward through blessings to keep you encouraged and let you know you are on the right path, but don’t stop. Keep pressing forward and taking the persecution for the sake of Christ so you can gain the life He has for you.
King James Version (KJV)
He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
The life Christ is talking about finding in the first part of this verse is the physical life, and in the second half of the verse He is talking about finding the spiritual life. Christ is telling us when we find the physical life we will lose our spiritual life, meaning that which we desire we will go to the ends of the earth to find, searching high and low until we get the life we desire, in doing so we will have added on so much to our life that it will cause us to lose our spiritual life. Think about that car you want or that man/woman you want, the first thing that is said is usually I got to have that and I’m going to do whatever it takes to get it. Whether we have to rob steal and kill (which all go against the Bible), we are going to get it. Before you even get to the method to obtain it you already coveted it, then purposed in your heart to obtain it by any means, acting on the flesh which works contrary to the spirit, causing you to slowly lose your spiritual life.
But when you take a stand with Christ and lose your desire for things of the world, you are taking sinful lusts off one by one. Once you begin to say: ‘I don’t want it that bad because it doesn’t belong to me, and can affect my relationship with Christ‘, you just removed covetousness out of your spirit. ‘I don’t have the means to obtain that car right now but I know that my faith in God will open doors man can’t open for me to get that car’. You just removed idolatry from your spirit, because before you were ready to exalt that car and hold it high above everything to get to it, making it an idol you worshipped, but now it’s nothing. That man/woman looks good, but if they are for me God will show me. Sexual immorality has been removed. It takes effort and strength to lose the physical life and faith to live in the spiritual life you haven’t seen, and with the effort you put in you continually add to your spiritual life.
When you find yourself searching for those things that feed your physical man, remember that greater is He that is within you than He that is in the world, and that God has given you the power to rule over all sin.