Summary: Jesus taught that if we give up our pride, problems and personal agenda we will gain His power, perspective and promises.

Giving up Little to Gain Much (Luke 9:23-26)

Jesus said, "If anyone will come after me let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever saves (holds on to his rights) will lose them, but whoever loses (gives up his personal rights)his life for my sake will save it."

Bob Johnson wrote an inspirational song in 1975 Called, "Give it All to Jesus"

Are you tired of chasing pretty rainbows

Are you tired of spinning 'round and 'round

Wrap up all the shattered dreams of your life

And at the feet of Jesus lay them down

Give them all, give them all

Give them all to Jesus

Shattered dreams, wounded hearts, broken toys

Give them all, give them all

Give them all to Jesus

And He will turn your sorrows into joy

He never said you'd only see sunshine

He never said there'd be no rain

He only promised a heart full of singing

About the very things that once brought pain

In the world we often hear the coach cry, "Don't give up until you win the game."

Your teacher tells you , "You work hard so you can be at the top of your class."

Parents love to brag about the success of their children.

Fathers love to talk about their great accomplishments

Athletes love to display their trophies raised over their heads in triumph.

Yet, in the kingdom of God the rules are different. The scriptures takes a different approach. The Lord Jesus taught us that if we want to gain we need to give up our personal ambitions in order to win.

In effect Jesus taught us in this passage:

Give up your anger - Be imbued with my patience

Give up your hurt - Be filled with my forgiveness, comfort & healing

Give up your bitterness - Extend forgiveness to others as I have forgiven you

Give up your discouragement - Walk in hope

Give up your complaining - Focus on gratitude to God

Give up your worry - Trust God for all your emotional, physical and financial needs

Give up your sin - Choose to walk as Jesus did

Give up your hatred - Dwell on what is good, true and blessed

Give up your harsh judgments - Think respect thoughts

Give up your lust - Love the Father more than the world

Give up your pessimism - Become who one thinks of the positive

Give up your problems - Look to the Lord for His solutions

Give up your gloom - Look for the beauty that is in Christ and His creation

Give up your bitterness - Extend forgiveness

Give up your pettiness - Grow in maturity

Give up your burdens - Take your burdens to the Lord and leave it there

Give up your jealousy - Learn the secret of trusting God

Give up your inadequacy - Praise God who makes you adequate

When Jesus talked about giving up little in order to gain much He wanted us to see that we are exchanging the finite for the infinite. The Lord knew that in order to fully follow Him we would have to lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily bests us and run the race that is set before us looking unto Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith. (Heb 12:1-4)

James Nicholson wrote a moving hymn many years ago to teach us the blessings of giving up our pride, personal agenda and problems to the Lord in order to gain much:

Lord Jesus, I long to be perfectly whole;

I want Thee forever to live in my soul.

Break down every idol, cast out every foe;

Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.


Whiter than snow, yes, whiter than snow.

Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Lord Jesus, let nothing unholy remain,

Apply Thine own blood and extract ev’ry stain;

To get this blest cleansing, I all things forego—

Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.


Lord Jesus, look down from Thy throne in the skies,

And help me to make a complete sacrifice.

I give up myself, and whatever I know,

Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Let us follow the example of the Lord Jesus Christ who gave up so much so that we might gain everything that is good and eternal:

"I Gave My Life for Thee"

by Frances R. Havergal, 1836-1879

1. I gave My life for thee,

My precious blood I shed,

That thou might'st ransomed be

And quickened from the dead.

I gave My life for thee;

What hast thou given for Me?

2. I spent long years for thee

In weariness and woe

That an eternity

Of joy thou mightest know.

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