24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done. Matthew 16:24-27
These ideas, denying yourself, taking up your cross and losing your life to find it are not normal. This Sunday, we loosely quoted Andy Stanley who was explaining the verse above. “The essence of following Jesus is self denial, not self improvement.” My default mentality is to look out for myself, my family, or even my community. While that sounds good and might get me some applause, it’s still all about me. If I choose to “lose myself” and go look out for you, your family, and your community I will find a new life in Jesus. I hope you are taking some time this month to not improve yourself, but deny your selfish ambitions and lose your life in loving God and loving all people.