For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.Mark 8:35
Paul wrote a letter to a young pastor named Timothy. He wrote, “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; avoid such men as these.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
Let’s walk for a moment.
Paul is not sugar-coating the truth. He is letting Timothy know what he is going to have to face. It is not going to be easy. There will be contention, confrontation, hardship, and heartbreak. Why will Timothy have to face these challenges? These challenges exist because human beings have not stopped following the desires of their hearts and the patterns that proceed from those desires since Genesis 3:6 (Read that, please.) Not only is there sin from within, but people are surrounded by the call of the desirable dandies of the Devil.
Jesus told his disciples and is telling us that we are to do what is contrary to the desires of a sinful and selfish heart. Christ is calling us to live for the Lord, live for each other, and to live for the love and grace that is the gospel. But, what can make a sinner act contrary to his depraved wants and desires? How can one who struggles with addiction find freedom from something he wants so badly (even if he thinks he hates it)? How can a person with an eating disorder escape the cyclical prison in which she has bound herself? How can weary parents face another day of the everyday-same-thing?
We find true life when we our lives become wrapped up in Jesus. I live when I am living according to the promises and the commandments of Jesus. I live when I believe his love for me was demonstrated in his death for me. I live when I believe he rose from the grave that I might live with him. I live when I follow his orders and conduct myself according to his commandments. That is life. That is living. We find our way when we stop walking according to our own wants and the standards of a depraved and decaying world and follow the Lord. When my desires are consumed by the purposes of God, when my wants are lost in what God has declared is true blessedness, then I find true blessedness. I find life. I find freedom.
Jesus gave his life and took it up again that you and I might truly live…That we might truly live. We have hope to overcome what we think is unconquerable because Jesus is Messiah. He is the Christ. He is the Savior. He is the King.
Soli Deo Gloria.