We are not called to reach the lost by dying. (Jesus has already done that.) We are called to reach them by living—living the sacrificial life of Christ. Paul reminded us of this when he said in Philippians 1:21 “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” and in Romans 12:1 when he talked of a “living sacrifice.”
Such sacrificial living demands that we give up (drop) some things. We must walk away from some types of recreation. We are required to surrender some thought patterns. We are called to renounce our physical, intellectual, spiritual and emotional holds on every thing that impedes our movement toward becoming Christlike.
But surrendering things is only the beginning. Then we must add (pick up) those things which the Holy Spirit tells us will strengthen our witnessing about God’s love, mercy and grace. We must allow the fruit of the Spirit to be developed within us (Galatians 5:22-23.) We must take up our cross and follow him (Matthew 16:24.)
Unfortunately too many people (even God’s children) see only the “dropping” side of Christianity, expressed by “Thou shalt not.” They feel their Christian growth is complete when past temptations are successfully ignored. But at that point the process of becoming Christlike has only begun.
Our Father has many things He wants to incorporate into our lives. And He has promised that what is added will always be better than what we surrender. The rewards will far outweigh the sacrifices.