“Then Jesus said to his followers, “If people want to follow me, they must give up the things they want. They must be willing even to give up their lives to follow me. Those who want to save their lives will give up true life, and those who give up their lives for me will have true life. It is worthless to have the whole world if they lose their souls. They could never pay enough to buy back their souls.” -Matthew 16:24-26
There is a price we must pay when we are chosen by God to follow Jesus. Jesus Himself said in Matthew 16:24, “If people want to follow me, they must give up the things they want.” Jesus said it because it is very difficult for many to give up certain things. The things we need to give up that Jesus is referring to are the things we use to replace God with. We turn to earthly things to make us happy instead of turning to God. We make some things an idol like money, fame, power, or even our family members.
If we want to spend eternity in heaven with God, we must not let the things of the earth get in the way of our relationship with God. As Christians, Jesus is our true happiness in this life and in the next. Jesus knows that possessions and life on earth are temporary, and they cannot truly satisfy us. It is worthless to have everything our hearts desire on earth because our true treasure is in heaven. When we die and go to heaven, we cannot take anything from earth with us.
Jesus also said that we may even have to die for Him. God wants us to stand up for the Gospel even if it costs us our life, family, or friends. It will be well worth losing everything including our lives because of Jesus since we have everlasting life in heaven. The apostle John describes how heaven will be like in Revelation 22:1-5,
“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.”
Prayer of the day:
Dear heavenly Father,
We confess that we let our possessions get in the way of our relationship with You. We know Jesus is the only way to heaven. We do not want to lose our souls for earthly things where moths can destroy them. Things on earth are temporary and will never make us truly happy. Help us stay focused on our eternal home in heaven. We are looking forward to the day when we will be in heaven where there is no more pain and suffering. Thank you for choosing us to be Your followers and help us to follow You instead of people. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen!