Mark 8:35-37: For whoever wants to save his life will lose it
Mark 8:35-37. New American Standard Bible
35 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what does it benefit a person to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? 37 For what could a person give in exchange for his soul?
The call to discipleship is a call to commit one's entire life to Jesus Christ. Jesus says that those who desire to save their lives must be willing to lose it. Jesus is speaking of eternal life. If we live this life for our selfish sinful desires, and our only pursuit is our own selfish will, we will reject God and refuse to bow our knee to Jesus Christ.
But giving up one's life is the best decision one will make. Before we come to Christ we believe that happiness and being content is about having what we want. Humanity by nature is selfish and self-centered. One thing you never have to teach a child to be is selfish. The Lord even tells us in His word that the human heart is inherently wicked. It is wicked because all of us are born from the line of Adam and all of us are born into sin.
Jesus asks the question: what does it benefit a man to gain the whole world and yet forfeit his soul? There are so many today and throughout history who chased after the world and its emptiness. They believed in building empires in their own name and accumulating stuff that they would be happy. In the end what they found was no matter how much money they had, no matter how many cars they owned, no matter how big their house was, that it was never enough, they always needed more.
There is a true emptiness that exist when we live apart from a relationship with Almighty God. We have been created in His image and the only way we can truly be complete is living in right relationship with Him. Jesus is the vine and we are the branches. He came to not only give life, but give it abundantly. The fullness of life is only found in knowing Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
At the end of a person's life what will determine if they enter into God's kingdom is simply knowing Jesus as Lord and Savior. If our lives are truly in His hands, we will live for Him on a daily basis. Every decision we make will be centered around knowing and living for Jesus. No amount of good works will ever save us. Our behavior, nor our performance will make us righteous. It is impossible for us to live without sin. It is impossible for us to do anything in our own power to be forgiven. But this is why God sent His only begotten Son. For whoever would believe in Him would not perish but have everlasting life. It is in Christ alone that forgiveness can be found. It is in Christ alone that salvation is found. This is why Jesus said I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me.
Father help me today to simply rely on you for all things. Help me to stop trying to earn your love and your acceptance. I thank you today for your Son Jesus. I thank you today that my sins are forgiven. I thank you that eternal life is not based on my empty efforts to please you, but it is based upon your grace and mercy alone. I pray this all in the name of Jesus, Amen.