“For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.”
(Luke 9:24, New International Version)
Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
(John 20:29, NIV)
Today’s Reading: Luke 9
Everything costs something.
Friendships cost time. Education costs money and effort. Children demand everything: money, time, emotional energy and sleep. So why do you stretch yourself? You sacrifice because you believe the reward is worth the cost.
Friendships give meaning to your life and help you understand yourself. Education can bring financial stability and fulfilling work. Children reward you too; they bring pleasure throughout your life. You sacrifice because you recognize the reward is worth the sacrifice.
But why would you risk your life for Jesus? Why jeopardize your personal priorities and dreams to “take up your cross” and “lose your life?” You risk because you are convinced the reward is worth the cost.
Jesus spoke about both the cost and the reward when He said, “Whoever loses their life for me will save it.”
So you have to ask, “What do I lose and what do I gain from following Jesus?”
Jesus predicted that one area of loss will involve your reputation. As you follow Jesus, you will likely suffer rejection from some of those you love.
But the reward will be simply astonishing. The apostle Paul echoes the prophet Isaiah when he says, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9, New Living Translation).
Peter, James and John caught a glimpse of Jesus’ future glorious kingdom when He revealed His splendor before their very eyes. His face was changed and His clothing became as bright as a flash of lightning (Luke 9:29, 32, NIV). For a moment, Jesus allowed them to see beyond normal human perception to what “no eye has seen”: His glory.
Are there clues that point to this unimaginable reward for you? Perhaps you need only to look at how Jesus served others during His earthly ministry to get a sense of what He offers. He fed those who had no means of feeding themselves. He healed people of diseases and demon possession. He welcomed children, who had no power or influence. He sought out the lowly, forgotten and despised. He compassionately forgave. He turned the tables on injustice.
And He taught that His earthly ministry was just a foretaste of the ultimate restoration He came to set in motion.
In John 20:29, Jesus promised that those who have not seen Him and yet believe will be blessed.
Trusting that God always delivers on His promises, can you safely say that He is worth your life?
What does the reward of following God look like in daily life? Explore more about how reverence brings reward.
Jane Fox works with Bridges International™, welcoming international students at Kansas State University and introducing them to Jesus Christ. She also serves with the National Bridges Innovation Team.
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