Sometimes even to persons of very shallow faith, the teachings of Jesus seem clear. The simple Gospel -- so easy to understand. Sometimes, however, we forget how difficult Jesus' teachings were to His own disciples. When Jesus wasn't talking in parables, He was using paradoxes to get across what He was trying to teach. From Mark 8:27-35, Dr. Daniel so effectively talked about the paradoxes Jesus used to teach "Surrendering Our Lives to God." There are three paradoxes that permeate the teachings of Christ. These paradoxes are critical to an understanding of the abundant life that has been promised by Christ. Jesus said, "If you want to follow me, you must deny (surrender) your life, and take up your cross, and follow me. All who want to save their lives will lose them. But all who lose their lives because of me will save them." 1. The first paradox is this: Anything you save will be lost! Jesus was clear when He taught, "Don't store up
for yourselves treasures here on earth, where moth and rust corrupt and where thieves break in and steal them." 2. The second: Anything you share you will regain! What did Jesus proclaim? "Give, and it shall be given unto you." 3. The third: Anything you surrender to God, will be blessed beyond your imagination! When we share, God abundantly blesses. The Gaithers captured that in a wonderful song, "Something beautiful, something good; all my confusion He understood; all I had to offer Him was brokenness and strife, but He made something beautiful of my life." Some things about which to think, reflect and pray: A tree does not worry about surrendering itself to the sun that bathes it. It can do no other. You and I, however, are confronted with a choice. Do we surrender all we are and all we hope to be to God? If we do, we can know this: God is the creator of beauty, and God can take our lives and make something beautiful out of them if we are willing to give our all to God! What is your personal response to these paradoxes taught by Christ?
Gene Kelsey, Director of Christian Education