Mark 8:34-38 – “When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 35 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel will save it. 36 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? 37 Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” NKJV
I find the words of our Lord penetrating and thought-provoking. Jesus can speak a few words that would require volumes to dissect and digest and yet are so clearly understood and simple. One of those passages that contains so much that one could spend a lengthy amount of time meditating upon each line and sentence and yet not exhaust what is said.
We spend much of our lives trying to get ahead and carve out a niche for ourselves. But Jesus said that if we follow Him, we must deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him. Our ambitions must become secondary to His desires, goals, and plans for our lives.
We spend significant time trying to preserve life or give ourselves a platform, condition, and cushion upon which to live the good life. Yet, the Master said that if we “seek to save our life, we will lose it.” If our singular drive is “storing up for ourselves, we will find that we are putting money in bags with holes, and in the end, our lives will come to naught.
Most people want to reach the place where they have arrived, their ship has come in, or some other description of success materially and monetarily. But Jesus said, “So what if you manage to gain all the world’s wealth and its power and prestige but lose your soul? What have you accomplished?” What will a man give in exchange for his soul?
He clarifies that it is possible to have Everything in this life and yet have Nothing eternal value. I’m not suggesting that having money, possessions, or even position is in itself a bad or evil thing; I am suggesting that if that comes between you and God, it is. The Scripture clarifies that we are to “seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness,” In so doing, He will provide whatever we need when we need it, in the amount and timing that we need it.
I don’t know about you, but I desire to have Eternal Worth rather than Earthly Wealth. If I can have both and use that wealth for the cause of the Kingdom, I will rejoice, but if I have to choose one or the other, I will choose GOD! I rather have Jesus than wealth or fame. I’d rather have Jesus than be the king of a vast domain. I rather have Jesus than anything that this world can offer, and in having Him, I have everything that this world can afford.
May God be with you as you go through your day!