Randy's Reflections
March 7, 2018, 12:37 PM

Pastor Randy's March Reflection

Anyone who intends to come with me

has to let me lead.

You’re not in the driver’s seat - I am. . .

Self-sacrifice is the way,

my way, to finding yourself, your true self.

What good would it do to get everything you want

and lose you, the real you?

Luke 9:23-25 (Paraphrase of The Message)



Okay, for how many people is this their favorite passage? Well, it is not mine. Yet these are words Jesus speaks to his disciples just after he has predicted his death in the gospel of Luke. Such words should cause us to ponder if we are really backing the right horse in this race of life. I mean isn’t our faith in Jesus supposed to bring us love, peace, and joy? Aren’t we supposed to experience the abundant life because we have a Savior and Lord who has our best interests in mind?


So I guess this is a good passage to ponder during Lent. As I think about it, I would want to start with the last question first. “What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you?”


This is not really a hard question to answer. Of course, we don’t want to forfeit or lose our very self. God has made each of us unique, and we each bring something special to the table or to the world. It is an awesome opportunity to be a special part of the puzzle of life. Why would we want to give up our precious piece of the puzzle knowing that without us the picture would be incomplete?


What does it mean to get everything you want? The NIV says, “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?” We all like to receive affirmation or get some kind of financial reward, but at what cost? How much are we willing to compromise so we can live better? Life does take some compromises, but we don’t ever want to give up our true self.


So truly it is not good to gain the whole world and lose our very self. Agreed?


So what does it mean self-sacrifice is the way, the way of Jesus? I think it reminds us that we aren’t the only person on the planet. There will be times when we need to give up a personal benefit, so someone else can experience the goodness of life. When we share our resources with others, financial or relational, we are including others in the puzzle. When we don’t hoard what we have, be it money or friends, we are actually participating in the world.


We can’t live an isolated life. We are part of a global community. If we aren’t part of the solution, then we are part of the problem. Jesus wants us to recognize that we may have to deny ourselves momentarily, as it says in the NIV translation, in order to receive the benefits Jesus has for our world, which includes us. We may not see the benefit immediately, but in the end we will receive the greatest benefit, what is the best for us and the world.


So, during Lent look for an opportunity for you to give up something, in order to benefit someone else. That giving up, that self-sacrifice, that denial means that you are letting Jesus lead your life, a life that will be more fulfilling than the life which you are living now. Let us share the wealth, the time, the love we have been given and it will lead us into being the real us. That is a promise from Jesus. I look forward to receiving that promise, what about you?


Blessings, Pastor Randy