Saturday, November 1, 2014

The Recognition, part 12: The Exchange

For whosoever would save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man profited, if he gain the whole world, and lose or forfeit his own self? (Luke 9:24-25 ASV)

The word translated as "lose" is apollymi and (according to International Standard Bible Encyclopedia) is used here to indicate "sacrificing one thing to gain something more precious." It makes no sense to us, unless we understand the character of God. He is good. He is wise. He is kind. He is love. He is just. What He offers us is always better than what the world can give. 

When we try to save our life, we lose it, but when we apollymi our life for the sake of Jesus, we end up exchanging it for something much more precious. This is a deep verse and there is much to learn from it, but for today, let's look at the simplest part of this verse. 

Our way of life, the deeds of the flesh according to Galatians 5:19-21, include immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing and more. What a pile of messed-up living!  When we relinquish our way of life for His, we gain the fruits of the Spirit, which are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. What God offers us is infinitely better, but how often we want to cling to at least one of those remnants of our former life. Dear ones, we would do well to exchange that old life for the infinitely more precious life that Christ offers and the fruit of the Spirit that can be developed in us. 

What of the old life still remains in us? What is that one thing from which we cannot break free? Let us willingly offer it to God as an apollymi, a living sacrifice, in exchange for the infinitely more precious freedom only Christ can give.