The Sold-Out Life (Matthew 16:24-27)

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Jesus is in it for the long haul, and He insists His followers have the same mindset. At the appointed hour, He will return in glory, and when He does, He will give His disciples what they deserve for having a Kingdom mindset instead of an earthly one.  

Matthew writes, “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.””

Following Jesus is incompatible with being the boss of your own life. Those who determine to do as they want will find they’ve not only failed to get what they chased after for all those years, but also lost the opportunity to gain what really matters. Jesus is no fan of get rich quick schemes. He is no fan of the self-made man. He is no fan of those who boldly proclaim, “I did it my way.” Doing it our way can only result in loss. 

Each transaction we make – our time for things, our talent for things or even our bodies for things – only results in more things and less of what we were given beyond ourselves. The world’s way is to trade our lives for stuff, and stuff may help you enjoy your life, but it is not the stuff of life. The stuff of life is using our time and talent and ourselves for the glory of God through the betterment of others. That transcends us to make a lasting difference.

Moreover, all things in and of this world are temporary. Not only do moth and rust destroy, but even those things we think are permanent are not. Even gold and silver are perishable, as the Word declares, “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.”

So, it is not up to us to live as we choose, but up to Christ to determine what our assignment is, and up to Christ to determine how we ought to live. For He is the rewarder of our life’s work. Not ourselves, not the world, not our employer and not our government. We have one life, and it has been bought with a very great price. To live in daily reminder of this is to live wisely. The end will come, and when it does, we will be very glad that we abided by Jesus’ exhortation. 

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” Amen

Christian allegiance to the personal lordship of Christ is not something that happens on an individual or abstract basis. Rather, we are incorporated into a body of believers, into a group of other persons likewise called by Christ to mutually support and upbuild one another, that our common service to Christ and the world might be stronger and more secure.

Robert Sherman


We demonstrate the Lordship of Christ when we worship, so true discipleship is to worship in all we do, in all we say and in all we even think, taking even every thought captive for Jesus Christ.