"Whoever loses his life for Me and for the Gospel will save it." Mark 8:35
A ship, sailing from Panama to New York in 1857, was carrying gold prospectors from California. It was overtaken by a storm and began to sink. One man, with a fortune in his carpetbag, left it behind and saved his life. Another prospector found it impossible to abandon his gold, and he drowned.
Many important decisions have to be made in life. These involve not only material things, forcing a choice, perhaps, between investing in real estate or in a business. They also may involve lifestyles--whether to marry or to stay single, to live in a city or on a farm, studying to become a teacher or a nurse.
The ultimate choice has to do with life itself, whether to devote it to Christ or to mammon, to God or to gold. It is of utmost importance to devote oneself to the truths of God's Word, for a life thus lived is worth far more than all the wealth of the world. Our natural, or physical, life is a gift from the Creator and is to be valued as such. But besides our bodies we are endowed with immortal souls, inclusive of intelligence, speech, talents, and other mental and spiritual gifts from God. Human beings are thus set aside from other creatures of God. We are the special objects of His love.
Because of sin, however, whether greed, evil lust, pride, or desire for power, people are inclined to bargain away their lives in service to Satan and the sinful self. To prevent people from choosing the broad and easy way that leads to destruction, God prepared another way. He sent His Son into the world, not only to enlighten us as to life values but to release us from bondage to sin. Through Christ's redemption he set us free to be His servants, yes, His redeemed children and heirs of eternal life. By faith in Jesus Christ we are enabled to choose what is good, to lead fruitful lives, and to glorify God on the road from earth to heaven.
No treasure--certainly not a carpetbag full of gold--is greater than life in Christ, for He redeemed us not with gold or silver but with His holy, precious blood.
PRAYER: O Holy Spirit, strengthen my faith in Jesus and guide me in making life's choices. Amen.
(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)