God’s Exchange Program

by Greg Laurie on Jan 14, 2023
But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.
—Philippians 3:7

C. S. Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity, “The real test of being in the presence of God is that you either forget about yourself altogether or see yourself as a small, dirty object.” Then he concluded, “It is better to forget about yourself altogether.”

Jesus said, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23 NKJV). The word “deny” in the original language means to “repudiate,” “disdain,” “disown,” “forfeit,” and “totally disregard.”

So, if we are going to follow Jesus, then we need to deny ourselves. This simply means that we want His will more than our own.

What it doesn’t mean is that we must give up everything that we find enjoyable or pleasurable. It also doesn’t mean that we aren’t allowed to have fun anymore or that we must walk around wearing a somber expression all the time.

Let’s notice what Jesus said: “He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matthew 10:39 NKJV). If you deny yourself, then you will find life. It doesn’t mean that you will live a miserable existence.

Rather, you will live the most joyful, effective, powerful life possible, because essentially you exchange your life for God’s. You exchange your plans for His. And you say, “Not my will, but Yours, be done.”

That will bring you to the level of life as it was meant to be lived.

Will you have to give up anything? Yes, you will. You may have to give up a lot, in fact. But God’s Word assures us that whatever we give up for Him, He will give us something better in its place. That is because God’s plans for us are good. We have His word on it.

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