You Must Choose To Lose Your Life Daily
William Graham Scroggie said, “In some people’s lives Jesus is present; in other lives he is prominent; but still in other lives, He is preeminent. We all must allow Jesus to be preeminent in our lives.” Center stage can only be occupied by one person at a time. If Jesus is to be magnified in my heart, then my “flesh” must be mortified!
The Lord Jesus spoke directly to the issue of discipleship in Luke 9:23-24, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. Following Jesus means cross-carrying self-denial, and this is a daily matter. The flesh is never satisfied; it must be crucified.
The judicial aspect of the Cross is completed. The price of redemption has been paid. Yet there remains the outworking of the Cross in practical life. To take up the Cross “daily” is an on-going process which means saying no to the flesh. Israel had to walk in obedience step by step with the Lord into the Promised Land. Before they could occupy there were many obstacles, enemies, and sinful tendencies to overcome. Even so, this earthly pilgrimage requires us to deal with sin, in the world, and in ourselves until we are with Him in glory. Walking in the Spirit does not eliminate temptation, but it does guarantee victory.
Spiritual growth is all about our condition catching up to our position. The gospel that we preach is not just a message containing historical facts, but something we experience and apply “daily.” Calvary is finished, but we aren’t! It is by dying that we live, and losing our lives is the way we find them. Just like salvation is centered on the cross, so is sanctification. “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me” (Gal. 2:20).
The Christian life is not our responsibility, but our response to His ability. Andrew Murray commented, “What a comfort to realize that God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to him.”
On New Year’s Day in 1863, Abraham Lincoln spent hours poring over one of the most important documents in American history, the Emancipation Proclamation. When signed, this document would set every slave in America free. Lincoln signed the important document that day. However, in those days word traveled slowly, and in Texas some slaves did not hear of the Emancipation Proclamation until June 19 that same year. The slaves were legally freed on New Year’s Day, but they lived without knowledge of the freedom they had gained. Some slaves, even after they had heard of their freedom, did not accept it. They had been slaves all their lives and did not know where to go, what to do, or how to function independently. These former slaves were legally free, but practically bound. Officially, they were free, yet many were still dominated by their cruel, ruthless masters. Similarly, the Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ is the Christian’s emancipating proclamation. All Christians have been lawfully set free from the old cruel, ruthless master of sin, but practically they are still bound. By applying the Cross of Christ, we can be free from the old power that has mastered us.
Jim Elliot asked, “Are you prepared to give up all that you are so that you may receive all that He is?” If you want victory, you must choose to lose your life daily. Life is all about choices. Every day we can say “Yes” to Christ and “No” to sin.
Don’t miss the next installment: You can Be Right without Feeling Right (Part 3 – CLICK HERE to read it now)