He reminded the listeners that "God wanted us born" and "He has great hopes and investment in our lives." Our lives are valuable to God! From this starting point, he helped us to unpack what Jesus said as recorded in Mark 8:35 "whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it."
"Considering our lives as valuable to God, then what does the denial of self entail?", David+ asked. It entails a shift from self-centeredness, selfishness, exclusive self-interest, and even seeking self-protection without consideration of God's place in our lives. Who is at the center of your life?, David+ asked. Who do you seek to have supreme control in your life? Is it your self or is it Jesus?
So how does self-denial and humility fit in to our lives in a godly way? David+ explained that everything we have is from God, therefore we don't need to hold so very tightly to our own self interest. Rather, we must learn to let go of our selfishness, our efforts to save ourselves without God's help, and learn through faith to cooperate with God and trust Him.
"And yet", David+ continued, "self-denial is not an end in itself."
David+ encouraged us not to think of ourselves as too damaged, too bad, or too unreachable for God, nor are we to think we are too good, not needing a Savior. Neither are we to see God as to weak or too unwilling or uncaring to receive us and grant us life eternal as we lose (invest, commit) our lives unto Him: for His sake and the gospel.
So who is in control- you or God? Father David concluded, "In Christ, your life is not your own. Jesus bought your life for the price of His own Life, therefore your life is sacred to God." Let us offer (lose) our lives unto Him in faith in order to gain true life.