dying to live | John 12.25-26
Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him. John 12:25-26 | ESV
Savvy? Let me spell it out for you. If you play it safe, trying to preserve what you have right now, you’ll end up losing everything. But if you’re willing to risk it all, to lose whatever you’ve got, whoever you are in this world – what a payoff’s in store for you: life to the max without stop. You say you want to play? You want a chance to serve, to shine? Then you had better be tracking with me. Where I hang, you hang – if it’s me you’re serving, that is. And serving me means a huge promotion from my Abba.
MAV (Mike’s Amplified Version)
Just today as I sit down to write these words, I come across this quote from Richard Rohr:
“Death is not just physical dying, but going to full depth, hitting the bottom, going the distance, beyond where I am in control, fully beyond where I am now. We all die eventually; we have no choice in the matter. But there are degrees of death before the final physical one. If we are honest, we acknowledge that we are dying throughout our life, and this is what we learn if we are attentive: grace is found at the depths and in the death of everything.
“After these smaller deaths, we know that the only ‘deadly sin’ is to swim on the surface of things, where we never see, find, or desire God and love. This includes even the surface of religion, which might be the worst danger of all. Thus, we must not be afraid of falling, failing, going ‘down.’ It is at the bottom where we find grace; for like water, grace seeks the lowest place and there it pools up.
“The only deadly sin is to swim on the surface of things” – with our life preserver. “It is at the bottom where we find grace; for like water, grace seeks the lowest place and there it pools up.
“Grace is found at the depths and in the death of everything.”
I simply cannot improve on these words.
Even more challenging, however? Living them.
How do we make that movement from self-preservation to self-sacrifice? Have you made this movement in your own life? If so, what has that looked like for you?
Lord, I so frequently sing, “All to Jesus I surrender, all to him I freely give…” But there remains so much I wish to hold on to so tightly. Help me to open my hands and heart to release into your hands what I would clutch so tightly, that I might find life that is truly life. Through Christ.