How many times have we been taught that surrender means defeat? Nearly all of our history lessons about wars and conflicts have shown us that surrender means giving up and losing at the hands of an enemy. What if I told you that not all surrender means that you lose, or find defeat by surrender. Would you want to learn more? What if I told you that we can admit defeat in many areas of our lives and WIN, rather than lose. I know this sounds like a crazy notion, however, defeat is victory in many areas. Just think of that “One” time when you wanted to lose a few extra pounds. Admitting defeat to being able to lose it on your own lead to, perhaps, a gym membership, a diet, finding a workout partner, or buying workout equipment for your home. If you’re like me, then this might not sound very victorious, but the fact of the matter is, you admitted defeat and sought out means outside of yourself. I’m not asking the results of said weight loss, I’m merely illustrating that you admitted defeat. For some, the gains, out weighted the losses, for others they may still be trying you find that one link to gaining success.
This is what I want us to focus on here today, no, not diets and exercise, rather admitting defeat, and being willing to find strength in something greater than yourself. Today I want to focus on a particular passage that Jesus wants us to know about the cost being a disciple. As we know, Jesus was the “master story teller”, he would speak to thousands, or singles with the same outcome, mind blowing results. Jesus was here to tell us how He could help us gain strength, even in surrender. The Apostle Matthew recorded the words of Jesus in chapter 10 verses 24-39. Matthew draws our attention to the very nature of being a disciple, not just any disciple, but a true follower of Christ. As we dive into this passage, we must do so with the mindset that Jesus was here on earth to change all of our ways from thinking, to living and everything in between.
With that said please take a minute to read over those verses:
As you narrowed your focus on that passage, did you see what Jesus said in the very last verse, verse 39? Jesus says something that really sounds, well, kind of backwards. Jesus says: 39 “He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.” As we look at this, I want you to know that this is also quoted by the other three Gospel writers as well, which means that Jesus spoke this in front of all the disciples, so that means it must be of great importance. Jesus is want us, all of us, to see the value of surrender here in this passage. Not just any kind of surrender, rather total surrender. Jesus shows us in the passage that we have value, we have a purpose, and we have meaning in this world. Christ also gives us a few commands here as well, He wants us to speak what He has spoken to us, He wants us to value Him above earthly relationship, not to devalue them, but to hold Him higher.
As we close this passage, let us take note of verse 39, this verse best illustrates the kind of defeat that ultimately means victory. Just as the world will try to define the term defeat for us, Christ offers hope and peace in defeat. Giving up our lives in pursuit of His will, His glory, and His kingdom means victory for you. As I mentioned earlier, changing our ways of thinking and living was what Christ set out to do. Just as He tells us the cost, the daily cost we must pay to follow Him, it comes with great reward, and eternal reward!
I want to challenge you today, be praying for God to transform your way of thinking and living. After all, if we are to seek God’s will for our lives, we must be willing to accept His way, rather than, trying to find victory in the same methods and same way of living that we have done up to this very point. Continue reading the next section of Matthew and you will see just how valuable this new way of living really is.
May God, give you peace in this life as you walk with Him daily.