4th Lenten Reflection

Matt 10:37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

How much of who we are is Jesus worth?

This is a great question to reflect on during our Lenten Journey.

Some folks treat Christ like a shakedown artist who is trying to extort from us what is rightfully ours. When we start keeping track of all whom we give to, or spend time with, or simply love, when we finally get around our Savior, he ends up like the guy on the street corner who we “bless” with the last of our pocket change. He gets what’s left, not what is first, from the abundance he has provided.

Sadly, in our preoccupation with ourselves, even this small amount can create resentment and bitterness in our hearts. As if Jesus is audaciously “begging” for something we fail to recognize is rightfully his. In such a case, Christ’s suffering servanthood is not a model of staggering selfless love which we should emulate, but a galling command keeping us from what we deserve. Attitudes like this are much, much more prevalent than most Christians are willing to admit.

So, what do we give of who we are?

The answer is ALL! No half measures need apply. I was thinking about this very concept when I came across Robin Mark’s song, “Jesus, All for Jesus” on YouTube the other day. Read the lyrics below and see what I mean:

Jesus, all for Jesus
All I am and have and ever hope to be
Jesus, all for Jesus
All I am and have and ever hope to be

All of my ambitions, hopes and plans
I surrender these into Your hands
All of my ambitions, hopes and plans
I surrender these into Your hands

For it’s only in Your will that I am free
For it’s only in Your will that I am free
Jesus, all for Jesus
All I am and have and ever hope to be

As Christ himself told us, you need to love him more than your parents, children, and even your life itself, as you die to who you once were in taking up his cross. To find our life is to claim it as our own. It is not ours, it never was. Your life in Christ is to glorify God and enjoy him forever! When we lose our lives for his sake that is when our true, blessed life begins. He is calling for you, Christian, right this moment. By his grace you can reply like Old Blue Eyes, “All of me, why not take all of me? Can’t you see, that I’m no good without you…” You’ll never hear that song the same again, am I right?

In His love,

John