“Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life” (John 12:25 ESV).
Make no mistake – following Christ will cost us our lives. For a seed to bear fruit, it must be buried and broken open. “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone,” Jesus says in John 12:24 (ESV). The seed must be sacrificed; it must be put into the ground and planted for the plant to form and bear any fruit. If it is not planted, it remains alone – a single, unplanted seed which has no fruit.
Whoever loves himself or herself more than Jesus cannot have eternal life. This is what Jesus means in John 12:25. To receive eternal life, you must humble yourself and repent. You must surrender any claim to your own life. Following Jesus means obeying his word and choosing what he values. Until a person is willing to do this, he cannot be Christ’s disciple.
You cannot serve two masters (Matthew 6:24). Jesus invites you to love eternal life more than you love this temporary life. He invites you to invest your treasures where they will last and where they will not be taken from you (Matthew 6:19-21). Jesus calls you to love him more than you love yourself. You were created in the image of God and called to build his kingdom.
Today, make it a point to serve Jesus. Spend time in prayer and Bible reading. Ask Christ to increase your love for him. Ask him to show you how to serve him and to build his kingdom. “When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship).
For more encouragement visit the Daily Bible Verse page.