“Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Matthew 10:30 (NIV)
Have you ever been around a person who displays real Jesus joy? This person is hard to miss. A person with real Jesus joy has a peace in the midst of turbulent storms, hope in seemingly hopeless situations, and can smile through tears of personal trials. This person can be overwhelmingly intimidating or incredibly inspiring to be around. One thing is for sure, this person has discovered the secret. The secret to real Jesus joy is tucked in the heart of today's key verse. The secret to real joy is losing your life for the sake of Christ.
In the economy of the "me first" mentality of the world we live in, losing your life doesn't sound like a plan that would lead to personal joy and life satisfaction. Jesus' words were as radical to those with whom He was speaking then as they are to those who read them now. How can losing your life lead to finding it? To answer this question we must consider the focus of the scripture: His sake.
He is the focus. We are to lose our life for Him. He must be considered first in everything we say and everything we do. When we take the focus away from our wants, rights, needs, and desires, it becomes easy to lose our life for His sake. He then leads us to turn our attention to other's wants, rights, needs, and desires. Somehow, through the surrendering of ourselves, the sacrifice we make for others brings Jesus joy into our lives so that our wants, rights, needs, and desires no longer seem to matter.
What I find so amazing is that when I reach the end of myself, I find myself. I find the self I want to be. The me who puts others first without thinking twice. The me who is willing to spend myself for the comfort and convenience of a stranger or friend, without considering what it will personally cost. This is the self I want to be, but unfortunately I sometimes fall short of the goal if I don't remember the simple prescription that was given to me when I young child:
Are you losing your life for His sake? Do you want to be the person described in the beginning of today's devotion? I do. Today let's be less self-centered and commit to losing our lives for the sake of Christ instead. Let’s follow the JOY prescription.
This prescription comes with a warning label, however: too much service can bring about resentment to all service. Therefore, it must be taken with prayer, and a commitment to serve in ways that don’t exhaust us to the point of spiritual burnout.
Jesus joy is approved under all medical plans and can be taken on an empty stomach, with or without water. Just swallow, smile, and serve!
Dear Lord, thank You for Your timeless Word and its amazing power in my life. I need Your help to apply this precept. It is not always easy to put others first, but I trust the truth of Your Word and want to be a person who displays real joy. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Sponsor a child through Compassion International
i am not but i know I AM
by Louie GiglioOut of the Mouths of Babes
by Wendy Pope
For more insight on the topic of joy visit Wendy Pope’s blogApplication Steps:
Ask God to reveal any joy substitutes you may have. Explore ways He can deplete these substitutes and replenish the space in your heart with joy. Use a Bible concordance or visit www.biblegateway.com
to find other scriptures on the subject of joy.Reflections:
Am I experiencing real Jesus joy
If yes, list examples to support your answer.
If no, list reasons to explain your answer.
What can I do to put Jesus and then others first?
Matthew 25:40, "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." (NIV)
Luke 13:30, "Indeed there are those who are last who will be first and first who will be last." (NIV)
Philippians 2:12, "Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling." (NIV)
© 2008 by Wendy Pope. All rights reserved.