Jesus said, “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.  What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?

Luke 9:24-25


Do those words puzzle you? What on earth did Jesus mean when he told us that whoever wants to “save their life will lose it?”

Jesus meant that when we try to save our life by following our own selfish desires, we will lose eternal life. When we stop living for ourselves alone, instead giving our life for Jesus’ purposes, we will receive eternal life.

Many think they can reach eternity by doing all the right things—going to church, giving money, doing deeds of kindness, trying to live a moral life. These are all good, but such activities can feed a sense of pride, making us look better than others. That’s a dead end journey. It’s a life lived mostly for oneself. God requires more.

In addition, we must surrender to Jesus, humble ourselves, and ask him to save us from our sinful nature. We need to accept the sacrifice he made on our behalf and the forgiveness it brings. Self-righteousness and good deeds are not the way to eternity. Jesus is the only way.

When we don’t teach that salvation comes through Jesus, our teachings are not from God.

Jesus suffered for us. In following him, it’s likely that we too will suffer. Suffering is part of what it means to live for him and with him—to lose our life for him.  For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for His sake. (Philippians 1:29)

What does all this mean to the life we as followers of Jesus are called to live?

When we see the world through Jesus’ eyes, we will start to see injustices more clearly. We will recognize the needs of the less fortunate. Committed followers of Jesus will have the passion to join with him to set things right. Our lives become more meaningful.

This is how we give our life—and save it.