November 22, 2015 Volume 1, Issue 005
OPPORTUNITY AND THE MAKING OF HISTORY 2
For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it
– Matt 16:25
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might …. Ecc 9:10
It is profitable to consider a principle advanced by the Lord in Matt 16:25. The reason for this is to show that the path to a man’s truest purpose may not be the attractive, the popular, or the highly esteemed among men.
THE PRINCIPLE is that whoever is inclined to preserve or keep safe his life will have it destroyed or lost, but whoever loses his life for Christ’s sake will find it. Matt 16:25. This shows that the tendency to prefer safety in life can be very antithetical. No venture, no gain, they say. This tendency is natural to humanity. Even the Lord had to combat it to save humanity.
THE PURPOSE was for His followers or disciples to realise that their resolve to follow Him is more than a religious activity, it is following or pursuing life and truest purpose. These are found in the Lord alone. To be successful at this pursuit, the Lord advanced two attributes:
- Self-denial: this is the attribute of forgetting or losing sight of oneself or of one’s own interests so that nothing compares or competes with Christ or your truest purpose. This is the best test of reality and earnestness in a Christian life as Self is the greatest problem of a man and the greatest hindrance to life’s true meaning. Self-denial uses the example of Him who gave himself for us; it looks beyond the immediate to the ultimate benefit.
- Cross-carrying: while cross-carrying is a common parlance in daily usage, the true cross is not what you bring on yourself; It is not necessarily every trouble that you are grappling with; it is the burden/necessity laid on you (1 Cor 9:16); It is what you have to undergo to reach your finishing line.
These are essentials for Christ’s disciples. While most people don’t want to hear stuffs like these nowadays, it is important for everyone to understand this if indeed the truest purpose will be realised for your part to be made in history.
There is always a price to be paid to realise the true purpose on your life. Most people are dumping sacrifice for immediate gain and saving their lives to lose it. Gaining the whole world is not the same as profiting the soul because the Lord will reward each person according to what is done and according to what is to be done (the true plan). Indeed, what is to be done may not fit into the frame of man’s desire (Matt 16:21).
Some biblical heroes become very significant example to us at this point. If they had avoided their cross, they would not have fulfilled the purpose for their lives. JOSEPH, the prime minister to be, went through betrayal, slavery, and prison to get there. MOSES, the national leader, descended from palace to being a reject and the one for the dirty job for forty years to lead the nation. DAVID, possibly the son of a concubine, had the dirty job dumped on him; he could have refused it or even declined to take provision to those possibly preferred by his society; the experiences were the path to his greatness. ELISHA poured water on Elijah’s hand; THE APOSTLES were Jesus’ ministers.
The path to a great purpose is not necessarily desirable. Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; doing the works while it is day (Jn 9:4; 2); laying aside every superfluous weight (Heb 12:1-2; 3); recognising the opportunities that God brings your way; carrying your cross to follow Him all the way.