Gain but lose!
Gain but lose!
The title of this devotion may at first appear to be rather contradictive. How is it that you can make a gain and yet sustain a loss at the same time? This seems to be a ridiculous statement to be making and putting out for public consumption.
The foundation for this particular devotion and its title comes from Matthew 16:24-26: Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him take up his cross and follow me. For, whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?”
This devotion and its content come on the heels of the devotion I wrote yesterday which was centered on a person’s love of money and what money can do to distract us from relying on the Lord. The devil is great at working to get us to focus on ourselves and this earthly life we are attached to for the present moment. To prove how we can so easily be led to grab on to this life and all it seems to offer and lose sight of something much greater, I share this teaching moment with you. In a recent sermon I asked the congregation, “how many of you want to be in heaven some day?” Without any hesitation every hand went up. Great, I thought to myself! Then I asked the question: “This afternoon at 2:00 there will be a bus leaving for heaven, how many of you want to be on it?” Not a single hand went up!
What are you willing to give up to follow Christ? Is there anything in this world that could possibly compare to being intimately connected to the Lord of lords and King of kings, Jesus? What Jesus has to offer us far surpasses anything this world can provide. The benefits of being a disciple of the Master do not merely bless us in this earthly life but are carried into eternity. For us to be desiring the material and physical enticements of the present age, only to lose the immense gifts God has promised us as His loved and redeemed children, is a tragedy which carries with it everlasting ramifications. Literally, it comes down to this dear saints, are you willing to lose your life for the sake of Christ? May you and I, led by the Spirit of the living God, have a deep desire to take up our crosses daily and follow Jesus. I pray we are because in doing so we gain the unbelievable riches of the Kingdom of God: forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation. Pastor McCarty