Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.
(Matthew 16:24-27 ESV)
Dying to live; losing to gain. . .so counter-cultural; so “un-American”; so hard. . .
But the Christian life, living life like Jesus said to live it, is impossible. That’s why Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit — God in us — God living through us — so God gets all the credit and we gain the joy of Him.
Sometimes I just sit and think about His grace to me; His mercy in saving me; His love in loving me. It overwhelms me; it gives me joy; it makes me smile and laugh and cry all at the same time.
It’s just being with Him; it’s just being with Jesus. It’s just the best!
Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.