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Lost and Found!
Christian Devotional by Pastor Cecil Thompson

Pastor Cecil Thompson
Cecil Thompson

Luke 9:23-25

"Then He said to them all: 'If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?'"

When our children were young, as well as Joyce and I, they enjoyed going to visit Joyce's parents. Besides enjoying the normal pleasures of Grandma's house there was something special to anticipate. Less than a block from their house was a small grocery store. On the corner, outside the store was a pay phone. As with many pay phones, this one had a coin return.

Those of you who are keen know what is coming next! Yes, you are right, they loved to go several times a day to check and see if someone had "lost coins" by failing to pick up the change which was returned when the call could not be completed. A few coins in their hands that they had "found" made their day.

(The owner of this little market became very upset with them and chased them off as often as he saw them. We all wondered why he would be so mean to small children, until we happened to notice one day that he made a practice of going to the pay phone himself to check for "lost change," but that's a story for another time).

Jesus was giving us a deeper meaning of lost and found described in today's Scripture. It is not a few coins, but a person's eternal destiny which hangs in the balance. Jesus extends a call to discipleship which comes with a price—denial of self. It is a price which many are unwilling to pay.

In Matthew 19, a young man comes to Jesus asking about eternal life. He claimed to have kept the commandments and wanted to know what else was required. The Lord told him to go and sell all of his possessions and follow Him. The young man went away sad, for he had great riches. He was unwilling to "lose" the things of this world in order to "find" the greatest of all riches.

Denial of self goes against our natural tendencies. Our human nature is self-centered and self-preserving. To deny this selfish self of ours is most difficult, but it is required in order to "find" what we need most. It is evident from what Jesus says in this passage, that denial is not a one-time thing. Notice His words; "- - he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me." That dear hearts is what will bring peace of mind and assurance of purpose.

The rationale which Jesus gives makes so much sense it is amazing that we have not figured it out ourselves. Losing our lives for the sake of Christ means we save it for eternity. Hanging on to our selfish ways is a dead-end street, in more ways than one. Daily "losing" ourselves to Christ insures "finding" the new life which empowers us for meaningful ministry.

Blessings dear hearts. Draw near to God today, trust Him completely and be a blessing!

- - - Pastor Cecil


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