For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. Mark 8, verse 35.
In my opinion, if you haven’t memorized many verses from the Bible, this one would be a good one to memorize. It’s the essence of Christianity. It’s the mission of the cross. It’s the hope of all humanity, even unbelievers. And it’s the best motivational speech ever given.
Tell me: have you ever completely lost yourself in something? Before I joined the Air Force, my dad said to me “it’s a good thing to lose yourself in something bigger than yourself.” I didn’t fully understand what he meant, but now I do and it’s a very Godly thing. The military has a mission, and every mission is made up of other sub-missions. As a service member, you immerse yourself in the mission; the mission is priority number one, more important than your family, friends, or even your life. The mission is what you do, who you are, your purpose and reason for being. When you are in the military, the flag represents the country you serve, and you serve the country by doing your mission. And when you immerse yourself in the mission, realizing you are serving the country and are covered by that grand old flag, you find your purpose. Great satisfaction and pride flow down like water.
Jesus is the ultimate mission. Serving Him means serving the kingdom, and we serve the kingdom by doing what we do – anything we do – without expectation of reward or recognition. Jesus recognizes us through immense grace every day, and for our lifelong devotion to Him, He promises the reward of an eternity in communion with Him as fully God and fully man all at once. That’s all in addition to the joy of serving Him here and now. Can you imagine anything more satisfying than losing yourself in service to God, the creator and true love of the universe, by living for whatever He would have you do? It’s the reason why martyrs die for Him and die satisfied.
Our mission, then, becomes using our talents and our lives in the service of the mission that is the cross. If we give all to Jesus, we will lose it. Now or later, eventually we will all die yet that death becomes merely a passageway to that eternity instead of an ending to all things. If you manage a project team, do so to the best of your abilities and do so in Godly ways and you’re doing your part in the mission. If you raise children, raise them in Godly ways and give them your best in love and you’re doing your part in the mission. If you preach to crowds, fix car engines, code software, teach students, clean plumbing, read the newspaper, act on TV or ride a tractor, whatever we do, when we do it in service to Jesus we become willing to lose our lives for Him. And in losing our lives for Him, we save our eternal lives forever.
Like I said, commit that to memory. Commit it to your heart, then commit, don’t sacrifice, to the mission of the Man from Galilee.
Lord Jesus I commit myself and all I am to You and Your mission of grace.
Read Mark 8, verses 34-38.