Theme: Depending on Jesus.
1. Matthew 16:25 says, “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.” What exactly does God want from us? After all, God made everything, so what could we possibly offer to him?
2. In Jonah 1, you can read about Jonah, who was a prophet for God. God spoke to Jonah, who then told the Israelites what he heard from God. One day, God had a different kind of message for Jonah: he was to go the city of Ninevah and tell the people there that God was ready to punish them for their sin. How did Jonah react? Did he immediately deliver God's message?
Well, Jonah didn't go to Nineveh. He went the opposite direction, away from Nineveh. You see, Jonah hated the Ninevites. They were enemies of Jonah's people Israel. It took a horrible storm and three days in the belly of a great fish before Jonah decided to obey God and take God's message to Nineveh.
What does God want from us? He wants us to give everything to him—our wants, our desires, our fears, our plans for the future, even our hatred for our enemies. If we really want to follow Jesus, we must be willing to use our lives to build his kingdom, anywhere and in any way he leads us! Think about this as you listen to today’s program.
“For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it”
In this episode, Liz discovers he has to give up everything to win. One day Jesus saw a woman bring her offering to the Temple. It was a small offering, only two very small coins. But Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on" (Luke 21:1-4).
When you have nothing, do you feel strong? Do you feel like you have everything? Or do you feel like you’re weak and helpless, like you are nothing because you have nothing? It's hard not to feel like a failure when you have nothing that’s considered valuable by your church, your culture, or even yourself. It's hard to think that you’re making any difference in God's kingdom when you feel invisible.
One important thing the Bible teaches us is that you have to lose your life in order to find it. That's hard for us to understand. After all, it's when we have something that we feel like we can find our way, not when we’re groping around in the dark. But in reality, when everything we do is about Jesus, then we find ourselves just where Jesus wants us to be: completely dependent on him.
Is there anything in your life that gets in the way of Jesus working in your life? Maybe it’s a video game, a television program, or your iPod. Can you give it up for a week? Try it and see what God gives you in its place.