For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will find it.Matthew 16:25(HCSB)
When man sinned, he placed self on the throne of his life in place of God, but unless a believer learns the hard lesson of self-denial and sets out to live his life for Christ alone, by denying self, taking up his cross, living for Christ, and identifying with Him, his life will be fruitless.
Just as Christ identified with us and became sin for us so we might be made the righteousness of God in Him, we too are to identify with Christ in His rejection, suffering, shame, loss, and death, so that in Him we too may rise to newness of life - a life of faith - a life lived in the power of the Spirit - a life lived in submission to the will of God - a life that says, "Thy will not mine be done."
Generally, man desires a life of ease, a life of comfort, a life devoid of troubles, a life of honour and happiness, and men often do all they can to accomplish this in their life at the expense of the next. But in Christ's economy, when a man tries to 'save' his life here on earth, it means that his life (his soul, his rewards, his honour), will be lost in the next.
Oh, the believer who 'saves' his life in this world and lives for himself, will not lose his eternal salvation, but he will certainly lose his 'life', his soul, his rewards, and his honour in the next, for whatever self-gains in this life will result in loss in the next.
We are commanded to lay up treasure in heaven and not seek after the pleasures and comforts of this world system, for in God's economy, that is what it means to 'save' one's life. Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Christ will find it.
It was once said that he is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep (this life and all the pleasures it offers), to gain what he cannot lose (his eternal life and with it any heavenly rewards that come from dying to self and live for Christ).
Let us take this to heart and live for Christ every day that we have left in this world.
Loving Heavenly Father, may I live for You alone. Help me to die to self so that I may live to Christ. Help me to live the crucified life so that in losing my own self-life, I may gain 'Christ's-life' living in me. May my life be lived only for You, to Your praise and glory. In Jesus' name, AMEN.