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Seeds of the Kingdom

Gaining Life

by Jim Person

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it”.
Matthew 16:24-25, ESV

I recently asked the Lord what He means by ‘losing our lives’? For years, I’d thought it was giving up my worldly desires and ambitions and replacing them with God-centred desires and ambitions. Then He highlighted verses 26-27, which says, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.”

Specifically, the word ‘soul’ jumped out at me, along with ‘done’. Then a light came on. God’s not coming back to check how many books we’ve written, how much work we’ve done for the Church, how large our ministry is, or even how many people we’ve shared the gospel with.

In my understanding, our soul is made up of our mind, will, and emotions. In my soul is the fabric of who I am. My beliefs, mind sets, behaviour, and even my self-worth, are caught up in that fabric. For me to lose my life is dependent on how much of this fabric of my soul I’ve allowed to be transformed by the Holy Spirit. How much have I lost of my ways of gaining life, and allowed them to be changed into His ways of gaining life? In verse 27 it says Jesus will return and repay each person for what he’s done, in this divine exchange of losing and gaining.

What have you done to sanctify your soul? How much have you lost your life, and gained real life in Him?

Prayer: Lord, I want to lose my ways of gaining life, and embrace Your ways to life. Help me to not find my identity in what I do; even if it is for You that I do it. God, I want to have a divine exchange of values and beliefs, so I stop trying to save my life, and surrender to doing Your will, not mine. Help me to accomplish this for Your glory. Amen.

Jim Person Jim grew up in Alaska and from a small child commercial fished every summer with his family. God called him, his wife Tanya, and their four children to move to Hungary as missionaries in 2003. God then led him to join Ellel Ministries in 2005. After serving in various positions with Ellel in Central and Eastern Europe, God led them back to the United States, where he is now serving with the Ellel USA team. Jim and Tanya have a passion to see leaders restored, the church discipled and walking in God’s fullness of life and freedom. They also love mentoring the existing and developing Ellel teams wherever God leads them. Jim also has a real gift for working with the land to create a beautiful and welcoming environment.


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