Today’s Scripture: And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. Luke 9:23, 24

In Spain at the memorial of Christopher Columbus, there is a statue of a lion triumphantly destroying one of the words of the Spanish empire’s motto: “Ne Plus Ultra.” This phrase translates to: “no more beyond.” The lion erected in Honor of Christopher Columbus was pictured destroying the word “no” because Columbus’ life and voyages proved there was much more of the world to explore beyond Europe and Spain. To me, this lion tearing up the word ‘no’ serves as a perfect illustration to remind us there is so much more beyond the grave.

Whenever we hear the word ‘death’ we equate it to some terrible, dreaded moment. The truth is that death does not have to equal destruction. In fact, it is the Christian’s gateway to glory. George Mueller, director of an orphanage in Bristol, England, was an extraordinary man of faith who understood this truth well. His testimony was so incredible that a visitor once asked him, “Would you be willing to tell me the secret of your great work and the wonderful things that God has done through you?”

George Mueller bowed his head lower and lower until it was beneath his knees. He looked up after a moment and then said, “Many years ago there came a day in my life when George Mueller died. As a young man, I had a great many ambitions, but there came a day when I died to all of those things, and I said, ‘Henceforth Lord Jesus, not my will but thine.’”

When George Mueller died to self, he truly began living. We get busy with work and kids and forget the big picture about our home and rewards in heaven. We forget there’s so much more beyond this world and the plans we have for this life. Until we die to self, we will never experience all God wants us to have. In fact, death to self will bring us real life, spiritual success, and happiness.

Devotional by Jim Scudder Jr.