Point of Inspiration: Devotionals for Personal and Corporate Worship

Robert D. Pace

“Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. (25) For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”” (Matthew 16:24-25) [ESV] If there was ever restrain in Christ’s voice there was none on this occasion. He told His disciples that abundant living was claimed by total surrender. They, along with their ambitions, worldly pursuits, and quest for earthly pleasures, must be sacrificed upon the altar of God. In so doing, they would discover that surrendering all claims all!

The story is told of a dying girl whose only hope to live depended on receiving blood from someone that had recovered from a disease like hers. When the physician met with the family, he explained the situation, and spoke to the girl’s younger brother. He said, “Christopher, you recovered from this disease several years ago and now your sister needs your kind of blood to make her well. Would you be willing to give your blood so she can live”? The family stood quietly around the boy waiting for his answer. After a few moments, he swallowed past the lump in his throat and said he would give his blood so his sister could live. The nurses placed the boy on a bed, inserted the needle, and began taking blood from his arm. Minutes passed without the boy saying a word. With large, teary eyes he watched blood seep from his body. Finally, he looked up at his parents and asked, “Well, when do I die?” That’s when the family realized the extent of the boy’s sacrifice. The young brother thought he was going to surrender his life so his sister could live!

It is rare when a person lays down their life for another but when it occurs it can be the chief demonstration of one’s love. That is why dying to self is the foremost evidence of our love for Christ. It reveals our priorities, demonstrates our commitment, and expresses our gratitude. And when we empty ourselves of self it gives God the opportunity to reach into our lives and deposit the treasures of Heaven. Remember: surrendering all claims all!