Whoever loses his life for My sake will save it

During the build-up of US forces in the Middle East in 1990, an unusual news item appeared in a De­troit newspaper. It told about an army sergeant who disobeyed orders to prepare supplies being shipped to Saudi Arabia. Even though he had always been in the army for 7 years, he said he had always been against war and was now declaring himself a conscientious objector. According to the article, the sergeant was finally acting on his true convictions.

We don’t want to judge his motives, but serving in the army while not believing in war shows how incon­sistent one can be. Sometimes we don’t think through the implications of our commitments.

In today’s Scripture, Jesus confronted His disciples with a similar issue. He said, in effect, “Count the cost of discipleship.” How we need this challenge today! Many Christians will serve the Lord faithfully in church every weekend among friends, but as soon as the going gets rough they disappear.

A German theologian who took a stand against Hitler wrote, “When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die.” That’s what it means to lose our life to save it. No backing out. No running away.

Following the example of Christ Himself, let’s be willing to “come and die.”

All to leave and follow Thee;
Destitute, despised, forsaken
Jesus, I my cross have taken
Thou from hence my all shalt be