Pastor Phillip O’Reilly
Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? [Mark 8:34-37]
In our world, it is really easy to get distracted. There are things moving a mile a minute, each one more shiny and interesting than the next. So many things are at our fingertips, yet we are unhappy.
This is what Jesus was talking about in this scripture. We could have the world – the money, the stuff, the fame, the success, the admiration of others – but unless we are actively following Jesus and seeking Him continuously, we will never know the everlasting Joy that He promises.
The word forfeit is important here. To forfeit means that there is a penalty associated. If we choose to seek the world, we are forfeiting peace and grace and hope. That’s our penalty.
Jesus teaches us that whatever we sow into is what we reap. If we live in fear, we will find more fear. If we live in jealousy , we will find more jealousy. If we live in judgement, we will find more judgement. But on the reverse, if we live in hope, we will find more hope. If we live in love, we will find more love.
Part of not losing our souls is to consciously choose to focus on God. To ignore the world’s priorities and make Jesus the center. To seek the kind of happiness that truly makes a difference – the kind that is only found from God’s love.