"Today's Word" with Skip Moen
Devotional for January 10
"For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it." Matthew 16:25
Loses - In Greek apollumi. The prefix apo is attached to this verb in order to intensify the thought. Although the word comes from a strong root meaning to destroy or to perish, in instances where it refers to people who are surrendering their lives to God, it does not mean extinction but rather a complete change from one form of being to another. It is used of the new, redeemed creation and redeemed men and women in their redeemed bodies. In this verse, Jesus promises that surrendering our lives as an act of obedience to Him will result in our finding new life, life that we could not have had if we continued to search for our own answers.
No one in recovery could deny this principle of life. All of us thought that we could find the fantasy life we desired, but the more we chased the dream, the more our lives became a nightmare. What we sought so hard slipped faster and faster through our fingers until there was nothing left but the emptiness. When we finally realized that there was no escape from ourselves, many of us sought to lose our lives. Jesus knows that helpless feeling of utter despair.
Jesus promises a way out. Surrender is the beginning of discovery. One of life's sacred paradoxes is that if I want to live, I must be willing to die. But not the death of self-extinction. I must be willing to die to any attempt at self-control, self-recovery and self-deceit. Recovery is first dying to my old way so that I can find God's way. My old life must be destroyed in order for my new life to be born. Perhaps the concept of being "born again" is not so strange after all. Frank Sinatra was "dead" wrong I cannot do it my way.
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