- - - - - - - - - -How much do you love your life?
In John chapter 12, Jesus talked to His disciples in a vulnerable moment:
"The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves Me must follow Me . . . Now My heart is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save Me from this hour'? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name!" (v23-28).
Jesus Himself was troubled about the trial He knew was to come (how understandably human--sounds a lot like me). But do our trials even compare--carrying the weight of sin and being crucified for the salvation of the world? Jesus asked his disciples: will I ask God the Father to save Me? And then He immediately answered: no! this road to death--"this very reason"--is exactly why I came to earth!
Often my heart is troubled. Our foster-to-adopt road is hard. Admittedly there are brief wondering moments of if-onlys and what-ifs and not-fairs. What if the girls hadn't come. What if we could go back and only have two bio boys in our life right now. When the sorrows and difficulties increase, what shall I say.....God, save me from this hour? Shall I wish that I had never walked this road?
At the end of all time, believers will be commended for their overcoming and their dying. In Revelation 12:11 we read:
They overcame [the accuser] by the blood of the Lamb
And by the word of their testimony;
they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.
The last part of that verse stated in the reverse might look something like: they hated their lives so much as to walk toward death. Sounds a lot like what Jesus said: "The man who hates his life..." Hating = a laying down, a giving up the rights to, a humble walk toward death, even as the heart is troubled. Jesus Himself literally walked toward death on a cross. And He didn't ask God to save Him. Instead Jesus prayed: "Father, glorify Your name!"
Dying brings new life. It's a simple farm truth but also deep spiritual truth.
Losing your life means you actually save it.
Hating your life means you actually get to keep it for eternity.
Where is there death in your life right now? It might be the death of dreams, preferred plans, or hopes for the future. Perhaps it's the death of deeply ingrained selfishness or self-centeredness or comfort or stability. It's quite human to be troubled by this "dying" but here's the question: do you love Jesus more than you love your life? Are you asking Him to save you? Or are you bravely (and maybe through tears & trembling!) asking Him to glorify His Name no matter what?
Shall I say: God, save me from this journey? Save me from this heartache and endless waiting and pain? No, I choose to believe & trust that this very road is exactly where God wants me--it is exactly His plan for me. I choose not to shrink back but to press forward on this path He has given me. I forsake love of my own life and instead I choose the overcoming walk toward death. I choose to boldly declare--Jesus, glorify Your Name!
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