25 He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.

A common practice in our culture is to save over time to gain something that we believe has great value. Individuals save to buy their dream house, vehicle, or to experience a once in a lifetime trip. In these instances, a person exchanges that which has taken much time, energy, and discipline to gain for something that they believe is worth the cost.

In John 12:25, Jesus told those following Him to place value on what matters the most in life. Ironically, to gain this prized possession, eternity with Him, we must be willing to give up all that we claim in this present life. This truly is a reckless way of living.

We began this week talking about the recklessness of living for Christ at the sacrifice of all else. In this verse, Jesus gave a promise for those who are willing to do so. Those who give up all claims on this present life, in order to follow Him and do His will, will gain more than they could ever dream of in the future.

Many in our society place the greatest value on the things of the world and would recommend the same to others. Yet, for those following Christ, we can be confident that there is nothing in this world that will offer us true satisfaction and lasting fulfillment. Only Jesus does that. And He has promised that if we give up that which can never satisfy, we will gain Him and joy forever in His presence. In considering this exchange from this perspective, it is clear that following Jesus is completely worth the cost.

• What have you given up in this life that you might gain more of Jesus?

• What are you currently being called to give up? What do you need to do?

• Pray that you would be willing to give up everything in this world, that you might gain eternal life with Christ.