Tuesday, July 12

Give yourself away

Scripture: 1 Chronicles 26-27, John 12

John 12:23–25 Jesus replied to them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Truly I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains by itself. But if it dies, it produces much fruit. 25 The one who loves his life will lose it, and the one who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”

Observation

Jesus predicted His own death, and likened it to a seed, a grain of wheat falling to the ground and dying so that it could produce much fruit. Jesus gave His life so that we could live—we are the fruit produced by His self-sacrifice. 

Then without missing a beat, He calls us to do the same: to give our lives away. Love your life and lose it, or hate your life and keep it. What a paradox! The Greek word for “hate” (miseo) has a wide range of meaning from “detest” to “relative disregard.” It is the latter that Jesus seems to mean here. We don’t detest our life, but we hold it in relative disregard compared to what God wants for us. Like Jesus, we put others ahead of ourselves and give ourselves away. 

Rather than grasping and clinging to what we have, we freely give it away, knowing that the only things we really keep are what we give away. 

Application

One of the core concepts of following Jesus is giving your life away for others. It’s what Jesus did. It’s what His followers do. It is the opposite of selfish living. And the paradox (and promise) is that you find your life when you give it away. The life you’re looking for is found in selfless giving not selfish spending.

I love my life. I love my family, my friends, my church, my city. I love what I get to do. I love my life—nothing wrong with that. But I don’t want to love it more than Jesus. And I want to hold everything loosely and share everything generously. And I think I love my life because I live it for Jesus and others (at least, that’s what I try to do, though I’m not always successful).

Give your life away. It’s the only way to keep it forever.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the selfless example of Jesus who gave Himself for us, and now calls us to give ourselves away for others. Help me do that today.