“He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose” -Jim Elliot
The Bible is full of examples of people leaving behind an old life and finding new life in Christ. Check out these accounts from Scripture:
…walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea…he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”Immediately they left their nets and followed him. – Matthew 4:18-20
So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people,”Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did.” – John 4:28-29
he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother…and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him. – Matthew 4:21-22
The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found…Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. – Matthew 13:44
As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth…(Jesus) spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam.” So he went and washed and came back seeing. – John 9:1-7
And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” – Luke 19:8
Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked. – John 5:8-9
Once we begin to see Jesus for who he really is, giving up our old life isn’t a chore, it’s just a reasonable response (Romans 12:1).
Have you experienced what is outlined in these references? Have you given up your old life and found new life in Him? What are you living for? Eternal things or temporal things? What occupies the majority of your thought space? Do you have pleasant, reverent, admiring, joyful thoughts about God, that are founded in his Word? Are you more troubled by circumstances that aren’t aligned with God or that inconvenience you? Are you more consumed with things that you cannot keep or with eternal things that you cannot lose?
Check out these lyrics from an old hymn:
All to Jesus I surrender
Humbly at His feet I bow
Worldly pleasures all forsaken
Take me Jesus take me now
I surrender all
I surrender all
All to Thee my blessed Saviour
I surrender all…
Could you say that? Could you say “I surrender all.” You’ll never regret it if you do. He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.