Sunday, January 17, 2016

true gains

 We are self-centered creatures by nature.  As we move into life we typically seek to "add" to our lives, to find the "ultimate success" for our lives.  We focus on gaining...gaining status, gaining possessions, gaining purpose.  We like to use words like "profit" to show that we are doing well.  Somewhere inside...just leaning on our own resources...we try to build the ultimate life for ourselves.  There is a great passage in Matthew, chapter 16, verses 24-28 where Jesus is teaching his disciples that there is another way to go that is far superior.  In this passage Jesus says it is better to let all these self-centered ambitions go completely...and follow Him!  Talk about a scary proposition...full of unknown!  Not only that, Jesus suggests that following him will open a person up to difficulties and rejections (just like He faced). 
But Jesus argues that following the self-centered route is very limited in potential.  You can't find salvation that way and anything you gain (even if you won a great lottery) also lose...especially your life....your eternal life.  The most valuable possession we can ever attain we already have...our soul...our very life that God has given.  We need to lose the self focus, gain the Son focus, follow Jesus despite difficulty and even rejection.  But there are great profits...there are the best of rewards.  In verse 27 we learn that ultimately Jesus will come back with angels and the glory of the Father and he will reward every person for what he has done.
We are right to desire an ultimate great outcome for our lives but we won't find it following the self-centered approach that we fall into naturally.  We need to recognize that our life is a great gift...not of our own doing...we need to lose our grip on our lives, take a risk and let Jesus lead us.  He has important things for us to do and there are rewards...there is life eternal and there is the personal reward of the Lord at a marvelous future time.
Rob Smith

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