Selflessness and Sacrifice

JESUS SPEAKING

“Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 16: 24 – 25)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

The old rugged cross is an enduring symbol of selflessness and sacrifice. Those who strive to follow Jesus Christ must crucify themselves daily. Our temporal wants, fleshly desires, and the present pleasures of this passing life must be abandoned. We lay down our lives so that Christ might arise in our place. If we die to ourselves, others will see God and be drawn to Him. By accomplishing acts of great service, we can spread the gospel message far and wide. Only through death can we experience eternal life.

As the story goes, during the 1800’s, a missionary named James Calvert was led by God to spread the gospel message to the cannibal infested islands of Figi. During his journey, the captain of the ship on which he traveled sought to dissuade him, saying, “You will risk your life and all those with you if you go among such savages.” Calvert’s response was simple and magnificent. “We died before we came here!” James and his companions had sacrificed their desires for self-preservation the moment they chose to follow Christ.

Like James Calvert, anyone who chooses to follow the Messiah must lay down their lives in service to God. We must abandon our selfish wants and desires. When compared with the promised rewards of eternal life, the passing pleasures of our current existence are insignificant. If we cannot embrace selflessness and sacrifice, we can’t hope to properly represent Jesus Christ.

“Lord Heavenly Father, we desire to follow Your Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. May we take up our crosses and sacrifice our hunger for the passing pleasures of this world. Only You can give us the strength to lay down our flesh and walk according to the Spirit. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name we pray. Amen.” God bless all of you!


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