DEVOTIONAL SUNDAY FEBRUARY 10, 2002
"And how does a man benefit if he gains the whole world and loses his soul in the process?"
SOURCE: (Mark 8:36) The Children's Living Bible, ©1970 Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187
What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? A couple of years ago, my wife and I went to see the comedy movie Bedazzled. Not a very good movie, however, for more-than-likely unsaved Hollywood writers, it had a great deal of truth in it. The premise was the devil, played by actress Elizabeth Hurley, granted an average young man 7 wishes in exchange for his soul. Of course the young man wished for what most 20 something young men would want. Lots of money, power, a beautiful wife, intelligence. As he used up the wishes, the old adage, "be careful for what you wish for" became very real. In one line, he told the devil, "you don't play fair". All in all, it was a very average movie, not that I am a critic, but would give it a C. By the way, it is rated PG-13, no sex though sexual situations, and the language was actually very tame. It actually isn't a bad movie to see if you try to view it from a theological perspective.
The point of the Devotional today is that while we can laugh at this Hollywood portrayal of "selling our soul" to the devil, the reality is we actually do it!!! How many times in our life have we literally sold our souls, turning from what we knew was God's will to fulfill our will. Every time you choose to rebel against God, you are selling your soul. The sad reality is that you always sell yourself cheap. What you give up, versus what you get is never worth it. I first heard this passage of scripture back in 1989. It was at one of the lowest points in my life. I had literally sold myself for the things of this world. I was driving down the freeway in Chicago at 3am. I was soon going to have to pay for all of my rebellion. As I flipped through the radio stations, I can across the booming voice of Dr. Joseph Stowell, president of the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, who bellowed... "what does it profit a man to gain the whollllllllle world, yet forfeit his soul?" Despite my rebellion, despite having turned my back on God for so many years, it was as if God himself was calling down from the Heavens to me.
To their credit, the Hollywood writers of Bedazzled, did show in the end that if we deal with the devil, we lose. No matter what we may get, it is not worth our soul. Let me take it to the correct conclusion that of course they did not. Even if we had everything we wanted in this life, even if we had all this world had to offer, what is it worth in the light of eternity? You see my friend, this life as we know it is very brief. It is but for a season. Eternity is for everlasting. Our focus, our goals, our motivation should not be solely focused on this existence, but our everlasting existence. That is why the most important decision we will ever make in this life is where we will spend that eternity. Let me say, if you do not know where your eternity will be spent, you can make that decision now. Simply go to my website, www.liveprayer.com and click on the left menu item, "Plan of Salvation". Pray for God to open your heart, then read the words. God loves you, and has made a way for you to spend your eternity with Him.
I love you. I care about you so much. Almost without realizing it, we often sell ourselves to the devil. The Lord told us clearly, you cannot serve two masters. Each time we make a decision, we are choosing which master to serve. We will either serve the god of this world, or the God of the universe. When we choose the god of this world, we are never satisfied, never happy, it never really works. When we serve God Almighty, we then can know the true joy, peace, and abundance this life can offer. It works. I will be praying for you to choose God. You see, when you choose the god of this world, it requires you to pay a price. When you choose God your Creator, the price has already been paid. He says "Come all, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat!" You see, Jesus already paid the price.
In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,
If I can help you in any way you can contact me through my personal email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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