ODB: Living Backward

December 16, 2013

READ: Matthew 16:21-28 

Whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. —Matthew 16:25

The Chicago River is unusual because it flows backward. Engineers reversed its direction over a century ago because city-dwellers were using it as a dump. Dishwater, sewage, and industrial waste all funneled into the river, which emptied into Lake Michigan. Since the lake supplied drinking water for the city, thousands grew sick and died before city authorities decided to redirect the river to flow backward, away from the lake.

When we look at the earthly life of Jesus, it may seem backward from what we would expect. As the King of glory, He came to earth as a vulnerable infant. As God in the flesh, He endured accusations of blasphemy. As the only sinless man, He was crucified as a criminal. But Jesus lived on earth according to God’s will (John 6:38).

As followers of Christ, to clothe ourselves with Jesus’ attitudes and actions may appear “backward.” Blessing our enemies (Rom. 12:14), valuing godliness over wealth (1 Tim. 6:6-9), and taking joy in hardship (James 1:2) seem to oppose worldly wisdom. Yet, Jesus said, “Whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matt. 16:25).

Don’t worry if living your life sometimes means operating in reverse. God will give you the strength to honor Him, and He will propel you forward.

— Jennifer Benson Schuldt

Dear God, please give me the strength to go
against the flow of this world. Help me to resist
what is wrong in Your eyes and to act in ways
that please You, for the glory of Your name.

Clothing ourselves with Jesus’ attitudes and actions shows His presence in our lives.

Source: Our Daily Bread