In the allegorical sense, to lose your life means to give up all self-interest and to live for Jesus' interest. If you will die to self for Christ, then and only then will you find real life. Our life’s true meaning and purpose, the soul’s true longing and satisfaction is found in our Lord Jesus Christ alone. Everything we do in this life for self will be lost. Everything. Through faith in Christ, we have died to sin and death, we’ve died to the old life here in this fallen world and in this fallen body. Just like Christ, we are alive to God now. In and through Christ, we are now seated with God in the eternal realm. Our old nature is dead to this life (crucified, Rom. 6-8) and our spirit is alive to God’s Eternal Kingdom. Everything I do in this short time left here on earth is either for His sake or mine. The body has literally been sentenced to death. The phrase “dead man walkin’” applies to each of us. So, I can either work for a dead man and ultimately receive the wages of a dead man, or I can work for the Eternal King and have treasures stored up in Heaven! What a waste my life has been! O, what I have wasted, Lord. Everything done outside of Christ’s will is self will and amounts to nothing. It will burn; it’s useless, meaningless. Paul said as much:
I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I may have Christ and be found in Him... that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death (see Philippians. 3:7-11).
I am dead to this life because I am united with Christ in His death. I am alive to God because I am united to Christ in His life to God (Rom. 6). Christian, do you know that in Christ you are dead to this world, to sin and to death? Do you know that all we do for ourselves we will lose? All that we do in the flesh, in accordance to the old nature that seeks for self-interest and self-ambition, is literally going to burn and count for nothing. Anything we do outside of our New Life in Christ works against what He is going to accomplish in our lives one way or another, now or later, thanks to His unfathomable grace and never ending mercy showered on us through Jesus!
Live for self and lose it all and die over and over and over, and end up with no eternal treasure or reward. Or, live for Christ’s will, purpose and pleasure alone, and find your life hidden in His, and truly live for the first time and forever in the glory of God. I would rather die to self once and for all, Lord, than spend one more second drowning in my own selfish interest again and again!
For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire (1 Cor. 3:11-15). -Paul
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up... Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells (2 Pet. 3). -Peter