When Jesus sent his twelve disciples out to preach and to heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, and cast out devils, Matt 10:7-8, he also gave them warnings and instructions for their ministry. In Matt 10:39, after telling them that they must love him more than their own family, take up their cross and follow him, Matt 10:37-38, he told them that “he that loseth his life, for my sake shall find it.” This is a doctrine in the Bible that we must learn and follow.
You lose your life to find it – Matt 10:39 – in Jer 38:17-23, Jeremiah told Zedekiah, the king, that the only way he could spare his life and keep Jerusalem from being burned with fire was to go willingly into captivity in Babylon. He had to lose his life to save it. Zedekiah refused. Therefore, all his sons were slain before him, his eyes were put out, he was carried to Babylon, and then the city was burned, Jer 39:5-8. He tried to save his life and lost it.
In Lk 17:24-33, right before the return of the Lord Jesus Christ, Jews will have to flee their houses and fields without turning back to get anything they own, or else they will lose their lives. They will find their lives by losing them. In 1910, a boy was born in Germany, into a prosperous Jewish family. He was one of four siblings. In 1930, his sister immigrated to Palestine. Germany was very developed and Palestine was very undeveloped. However, in 1933, he also immigrated to Palestine, due to his concerns about Hitler’s anti-semitic views. By 1939, it was becoming evident to the world that Jews were being exterminated. That same year, he received a letter from one of his German friends who was now in the Gestapo. Included with the letter was a two-week pass to come to Berlin and rescue his family from their planned extermination. He pled with his family to leave with him and save their lives. They didn’t want to leave their homes and possessions, so they didn’t go with him. They were all murdered. If they had lost their lives, they would have preserved them.
In Gal 2:20, we are to be crucified with Christ to live. Jesus had to die to bring forth much fruit, Jn 12:24. And we must die to live. Paul said, “I die daily,” 1 Cor 15:31. The reason Christians don’t live the abundant life that Jesus promised in Jn 10:10 is that they aren’t willing to part with the life they have now. If you want to find this abundant life, you have to lose your life. In Mk 10:28-30, Jesus told Peter that men receive a hundredfold of whatever they lose for Jesus’ sake and the gospel’s.
You lose your wealth to find it – Heb 11:26 – Moses esteemed “the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.” He knew there was a reward for leaving everything he had in Pharaoh’s palace. In Mk 10:21, Jesus told the rich young ruler that if he would sell all he had and give it to the poor, he would have treasure in heaven. Jesus guaranteed him that if he would lose his wealth he would find it. Prov 19:17 says, “He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.” Prov 13:7 says, “There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches.” The greatest investment you can make is to give to the Lord. There is absolutely no safe haven for money on earth. One way or the other, you’ll lose it all unless you give it to the Lord.
You lose your pleasure to find it – Heb 11:25 – Moses left the seasonal pleasures of sin to find real pleasure in the presence of the Lord. Ps 16:11 says, “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” Moses was in the presence of the Lord. They conversed “face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend,” Ex 33:11. In Ex 33:18-23, God’s glory passed by Moses and he saw it. In Zech 4:14, Moses is one of the two anointed ones, “that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.” And in Mk 10:35-40, Moses will be sitting beside Jesus Christ in his glory, enjoying “pleasures for evermore,” Ps 16:11.
In Lk 6:20-26, we see the contrast between those who get their pleasure from the world now and those who wait to receive their reward later. One will rejoice and the other will mourn. Notice that the ones who lose their pleasure now are also the ones who begin to “leap for joy,” now. The pleasure begins now and the reward comes later.
Conclusion: these three examples are so contrary to how the world seeks life, wealth and pleasure, that worldly Christians will never believe what the Bible says about how to have life, wealth and pleasure. You’re as unbelieving as the Jewish family in Berlin. And you are just as wrong as they were. In this life, the losers are the winners.