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Losing and Finding

Losing and Finding

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For whosoever will save his life shall lose it ; and whosoever will
lose his life for My sake shall find it." MATT. xvi. 25.

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it ; and whosoever will
lose his life for My sake shall find it." MATT. xvi. 25.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jul 31, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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LOSIG AD FIDIGBY REV. W. M. CLOW, B.D.For whosoever will save his life shall lose it ; and whosoever willlose his life for My sake shall find it." MATT. xvi. 25.WHE Jesus saw how His demand, that men shoulddeny themselves and take up the cross and followHim, made His disciples quail, He added threewarnings. He declared that whosoever will savehis life shall lose it, and whosoever will lose hislife for His sake shall find it. He passed on to aneven more solemn warning when He asked, what itwould profit a man to gain the whole world andlose his soul ? And He called in the most solemnand heart-shaking warning of all as He summonedup to their minds the scene of the judgment, whenevery man shall be rewarded according to his works,and proclaimed the fate of the men who have beenashamed of Him and His way of the Cross.Let us look at the first of these warnings to-day.Jesus sets it in the paradox, " For whosoever willsave his life shall lose it ; and whosoever will losehis life for My sake shall find it." A paradox is asaying which seems to be a contradiction in terms,LOSIG AD FIDIG ina statement with two members, both of which cannotbe true. A paradox is chosen partly because of its power to startle the mind into attention andprovoke it to deeper thought, partly because it isso easily remembered, and partly because only by aparadox can some of the deeper truths of life be
concisely expressed. On the face of it nothing canbe more contradictory than to say that to saveone s life is to lose it, and to lose one s life is tofind it. Sometimes this paradox is explained bydeclaring that Jesus had two different kinds of lifein view. We are told that Jesus meant us tosacrifice a lower life for a higher, an earthly and atemporal life for a spiritual and an eternal, thelife of the body for the life of the soul. We aretaken, for the noblest instance and proof of thisinterpretation, to the Roman amphitheatre. Weare shown the martyrs awaiting the onrush of thelions. As they are set upon by the hungry andmerciless beasts, and as the mangled remains of their bodies are carried away, we are told to seein their tragic loss their splendid gain. They havelost their lives for Christ s sake, but they havefound the life eternal. But the martyrs loss and gaintouches the fringe, but only the fringe, of Christ struth. Jesus has enshrined a deeper meaning inHis paradox. He is stating a law of universal life.He does not mean two different kinds of life, alower and a higher, set in contrast. He is thinkingof the same life in each case. He is stating theii2 THE SECRET OF THE LORDstill unaccepted and, for many men, incredible truth,that to be eager to save life is the way to lose it,and that the way to find it is to be willing to lose it,and, if need be, to pour it out in a splendid waste.Let me illustrate this law of losing and findinglife in its chief spheres. As we see the truth of Christ s deep saying we shall bow down our heartsand wills in a glad obedience.I. Think of it, in the first place, in the sphere
of physical life. All men, even the simplest-mindedand most ignorant, realise in some dim way thatthe worst thing you can do for the life of the bodyis to be too careful of it. Here, for example, is aman who keeps the most anxious and most earnestwatch over his physical well-being. He shutshimself up from the cold. He keeps himself coveredfrom sun and wind. He goes swathed in mufflers.He lives in a tormenting fear of draughts. Whenthe winter is upon us he is off, if his means permit,to the Riviera or to Egypt. If he be a poor man,he does not venture out of his cosy room at night.He will take no service which will call upon him toface a chance evening of storm, but will hap himself up before a toasting fire. His watchful desire isto save his life. What happens ? He becomes apoor, pallid, feebled creature. His sallow skin, hischill hands and feet, his liability to infection, hiswatery eyes and his impoverished blood, are theproofs that he has lost the life he was so eager toLOSIG AD FIDIG 113save. I am not thinking of those invalids, brokenand maimed in the battle of life, or of those braveand patient men and women who, through all theiryears, have borne the burden and suffered the pain of physical weakness, or nervous infirmity, or disablingand torturing and incurable disease. Let our compassion go out to them. It is one of their addedtrials that they cannot even attempt the chivalrousservices, and enter into the costly toils of strongerand more healthful frames. I am thinking of thatincreasing number of men and women, to whom inthese days when a coddling comfort is so common,the health and well-being of their body is theirfirst concern. Let these valetudinarians think lessabout their pulse and their temperature. Let them

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