Back on October 26, I had begun a series of posts on how to spend life for the highest purpose. This topic is critically important because, it turns out, life can only be spent. Not one second can be saved or stored up for later, but every second must be spent. And, once gone, time can never be recovered. Therefore, the issue for every person becomes, “How shall my life be spent for the highest possible value?”
In a brief section of Scripture in Matthew 16:24-27, Jesus declares to all His would-be disciples how to spend their lives for the highest possible purpose.
In Matthew 16:25, Jesus gives His disciples the paradox that, if you want to spend your life well, you must lose your life.
“For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”
There are many who wish to save their lives. The one who “wishes to save his life” is the one who wants to keep his life for himself. He is under the impression that he is free to do with his life whatever he wants to do. He believes that his life is his own. He is the king of his own life, and no one can tell him what to do.
Before I knew Christ as Lord and Savior, I had grand ambitions for how to make my life significant. Although these schemes now seem like foolish wastes of time, without Christ to rule my life, dreams of money and mansions and impressive accomplishments were fuel for my engine. All my desires were selfish wishes for self-glory. I was chasing disappearing mirages and vanishing mists. I wished to save my life, but I was losing my life in vain pursuits.
Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” I was blindly running down the way of death.
In Ecclesiastes 1-2, the author accomplishes much “under the sun,” but in the end spending his life on grand projects for his own glory and pleasure proved meaningless. “And so I hated life; everything is futility and striving after wind” (Ecclesiastes 2:17).
“But whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” “Loses his life” means surrendering the control of my life into the Lord’s hands. My life is no longer my own (I have been bought with a price – 1 Corinthians 6:20). My life has been placed in Jesus’ hands and He is free to dispose of it or use it in anyway He chooses. And it is here, as an instrument in Jesus’ hands, that life indeed and full satisfaction are to be found. When I lose my life, and my life becomes His life to use as He sees fit, then I find my life and find the joy and peace that a useful life brings.
Jesus Himself modeled this losing His life for the Father’s use when He was in His greatest anguish in Gethsemane. He said to the Father, “Yet not My will, but Yours be done.”
The goal, then, is to give our lives away to find them.
SDG rmb 10/31/2021 #448