PASTOR NICK’S WEEKLY DEVOTION 12/16/2018

In Luke 9:23-24 Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it” (ESV). I wonder, do you believe those words? Do you believe that losing your life for Jesus’ sake is actually what saves it? And if you say you do, does your life look like you believe it?

Now, Jesus isn’t saying that we have to do something, or live or die a certain way to be saved; He’s saying we have to surrender our lives to Him to be saved. And if our lives are truly surrendered to Him we should be willing to live and die in whatever way He calls us to.

This past week many of our brothers and sisters in Christ in China were arrested—and who knows what else—for their faith in Christ. One particular church had over 100 members arrested… The pastor of that church, knowing what was coming, wrote a letter the day before he was arrested. In that letter he explained that because he is a Christian, because he loves Jesus and has with full conviction committed himself to dying to himself daily, picking up his cross and following Jesus—because of who he is in Christ, he must disobey the Chinese atheistic government, and instead obey Christ… He must follow Jesus, not the government…

In the letter he referred to this as his great disobedience. He said, “As a pastor, my disobedience is one part of the gospel commission. Christ’s great commission requires of us great disobedience. The goal of disobedience is not to change the world but to testify about another world.” You see, he knew that central to following Jesus is making much of Jesus—telling other about who He is, what He has done, and will do, and of the world to come… And no matter if a government says we can or cannot do this, Christ has said we must do this…

And so, come what may, Pastor Wang Yi gave himself to following Christ, and now he is in prison, or he may already be with Jesus… But wherever he is he knows that Jesus is worth it, and that only in dying to self and following Him is true life found. So, do you really believe Jesus’ words here? Do you believe them like this pastor from China? May the Lord help us to believe and live with the same conviction…

I am nothing; Christ is all!

Pastor Nick