Gain the Whole World

If you could gain the whole world, would you give up your soul?  That’s a pretty easy question to answer for the veteran Christian.  There is nothing more important than our soul.  Where we spend eternity is far more important than anything else in life.  Satan doesn’t have to offer that we gain the whole world.  The sad reality is that Christians will give up their soul for far less.  All father of lies has to do is threaten a middle schooler that everyone will laugh at you.  Maybe you’re established and accomplished in life?  You will lose the respect of your peers.  Or how about on social media?  The almighty “like” can hold people captive like nothing else these days.

If that sounds hard to believe, consider how small our world can be these days.  To say, “You can gain the whole world,” doesn’t mean commanding the nations of the world.  For a child whose only experience is the fishbowl of the ninety students in her grade, that is her whole world.  These are the people that she spend her working, meals, and probably the majority of her free time.  There is nothing else.  When Jesus comes and tells us that we need to take up our cross, there is no perspective.

Let’s add to this one more thing.  Have you ever heard of the verse in the Bible where God promises that he will never give you more than you can handle?  No?  That’s because it’s not in the Bible.  There is a wonderful series from Time of Grace Ministries called Out of Context.  One of the lessons takes this point to task and shows that 1 Corinthians 10:11-13 is speaking very specifically about temptation.  God will always provide a way out for you.  On the topic of cross bearing – God routinely gives us (at least me!) more than we can handle.

When we pray that God would remove a cross from our lives he can answer that prayer in one of three ways.  1) He can take the cross away.  2) He can give us the strength to bear up under the cross.  3) He can remove us from the cross, that is, he can take us home to heaven.

Want to hear more?  …including what we can do with the really heavy crosses that are losing a loved one?  Watch this week’s message taken from Mark 8.