Read: Mark 8:35

For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. (v. 35)

Taking risks does not come naturally to most of us. It certainly doesn’t to me. I tend to be a rather cautious and careful person. That may be good in some instances, but when it comes to the gospel, Jesus expects us to be “all in.”

Jesus was a risk-taker. What a risk he took in leaving heaven and coming to earth where “he was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief” (Isa. 53:3). Jesus risked everything, and he desires that we do the same for him and the gospel. That is a huge task and one not to be taken lightly. For those of us who would follow Jesus and be willing to “lose our lives,” it takes courage, commitment, and trust in a God who will always be with us.

But really, if we believe Jesus, that is the only way to live—the only way to “save our lives.” It’s all or nothing, but the reward is greater than anything we could imagine. As Jesus says elsewhere, “there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life” (Luke 18:29-30).

—John Koedyker

Prayer: Lord, give us boldness so that we can risk all for you. Amen.