To Die is To Gain
Dear Friend, I wrote this devotional in 2017, but it is so relevant today!
This Life Will Cost You by LaKisha M. Johnson
Luke 9:23, “Then he said to them all: Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.
This life will cost you, I wish I could tell you anything different, but living a life for Christ, will cost you. It’s going to cost you, everything you have held sacred, you will find the things that you thought meant something, mean absolutely nothing to our Father.
This past weekend I was on vacation. We made a decision to go to an outlet, to do a little shopping. Normally I am super excited about being at an outlet, but as I begin to walk in to the stores I noticed how horrible the lines were, the food court over crowded and the mounds of people around me. I don’t like large crowds and a lot of people crowded around me. I prefer not to wait in long lines, to buy anything. This is why I do the majority of my shopping on-line. I decided to go in a store, which carries these watches that I like. I go in and start looking around. I am already irritated as the sales clerk approaches me. She starts in with a series of questions, about where I am from, had I ever been in the store before, and if so where? Her questions seem haughty and offensive. Her attitude seemed to ask me, “Can you afford to be in this store (or so I thought in my mind)?”. I am fighting on the inside to tell her a little something about herself. I am distant and dry, I am not mean but I am distant and dry. Eventually I leave, and choose not to buy anything. As I walk out the store, the Holy Spirit caught me real quickly and said, “LaKisha, you may have just missed an opportunity to witness and demonstrate God’s love to someone. It didn’t matter what your pet peeves were, your nuances, your beliefs or how you thought your behavior was justified, you missed the opportunity to be light and love.” Deep sigh, I knew He was right, He always is.
If we are to live this life in Christ, then we have to lose “ourselves”, our behavior has to align with who He is? (Galatians 5: 19, Proverbs 6:16). We can’t justify these things as part of our personality, or as whom we are. A life of the Spirit requires us to live and love differently. Just think for a minute, what did Christ bring and do at the Cross. He brought compassion, love and sacrifice to the Cross, and it wasn’t based on whether or not Christ felt good, or if He wanted to. This missed opportunity to be love, showed me the areas in my life, in which I had yet to die to myself. It reminded me that the life I live will cost me a lot. I will have to lose everything to be His disciple. This is so necessary in following Him. However, the things that we lose are only for our gain (joy, love, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness and self- control). To die to myself is to gain in Christ (Philippians 1:21). So losing isn’t really losing, it’s winning through sacrifice. If we are going to be “the sacrifice” we will have to kick over our sacred cows.
Prayer: Thank you for showing me the areas in my heart, that don’t align with yours. Holy Spirit, show me how to lose myself so that I can gain in Christ. God I want to make impact for your glory alone. In Jesus Name. Amen