Jesus said that those who would be His disciples must do three things: “Turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow Me” (Matthew 16:24). Then He raised the bar even higher: “You must hate everyone else by comparison—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:26). Considering the hard realities of these requirements, why would anyone want to follow Him?
Thankfully, Jesus gave us the motivation for making such a radical commitment. Putting it in the first person: I turn from my selfish ways, take up my cross, and follow Christ because I am investing for eternity (Matthew 16:24-28).
It’s easy to become preoccupied with life on earth. What can Jesus do for me in the here and now? Can He help me get that promotion? Will Jesus heal me of my cancer?
Jesus spoke of two paradoxes: The person living only for himself will lose his life in the end, and losing the pleasure of sin is nothing compared with losing one’s soul eternally (Matthew 16:25-26). At His return, He’ll judge “all people according to their deeds” (Matthew 16:27). Jesus is asking us not to live for this life, but for the next. He invites us to invest in Him.
The apostle Paul also offers us the same investment opportunity: “Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life” (Colossians 3:1-3).
To live wisely in the here and now, we must keep our focus on eternity. Only a life invested for Him will pay eternal dividends (Matthew 6:19-21).
What stuff of life is keeping you from following Jesus wholeheartedly? How will you invest for eternity today?
Taken from “Our Daily Journey”