For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Mark 8:36
Two brothers in Wichita, Kansas, won the lottery, netting $75,000. They celebrated by purchasing narcotics. While using a butane lighter with their drugs, the vapors reached the pilot light of their furnace, causing an explosion that destroyed their house. One of the brothers was rushed to the hospital, and the other to jail. In the literal flash of a moment, the luckiest moment of their lives became a nightmare.
Millions of people feel they have won life’s lottery. They’ve accumulated homes and clothes and vehicles and sufficient financial reserves to pay their bills and ensure their futures. Some have become rich.
But sooner or later, it will all disappear in the flash of a moment, for without Christ there’s no hope of eternal wealth or everlasting life. The Lord provides for the needs of His children, and He gives us the wisdom to be wise stewards over what He entrusts to us. Our long-term well-being is found exclusively in God’s mercy toward us in Christ Jesus, which is why in all things He must be preeminent.
When I put God first, God takes care of me and energizes me to do what really needs to be done. David Jeremiah
What Shall it Profit a Man to Gain the Whole World?
Conflict is a part of life. It may originate from misunderstandings, a difference of opinion, or deep convictions. But that discord often stems from envy, pride, or hunger for power.
We can’t control another person’s response to conflict; we’re accountable only for how we handle it. Many people naturally have unhealthy reactions to disagreement. Some repress any discomfort, ignoring the issue or pretending it doesn’t exist. Others place blame while defending themselves.
These negative responses often indicate one of three underlying scenarios. First, past hurt can leave a person emotionally insecure and unable to handle criticism. Second, perfectionists set such high benchmarks that they can never live up to their own standards—then it’s hard to acknowledge mistakes. Finally, pride makes it hard for some people to admit when they’re wrong or to ask forgiveness.
Unless we respond correctly to conflict, we limit our potential to grow, because we aren’t learning what the Lord is teaching. Also, we develop an unforgiving spirit, which leads to bitterness and resentment. Eventually, such an attitude can destroy relationships.
There is a better way to handle conflict, modeled by our Savior. Luke 23:34 reveals how Jesus responded when He was wrongly accused, unfairly judged, and crucified despite His innocence. Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”
“For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.” (Psalm 96:5)
As the apostle Paul reminded the Corinthian Christians, “though there be [many] that are called gods, . . . to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him” (1 Corinthians 8:5-6).
Every person has his own “god”; even atheists order their lives by some principle of their own choosing that thus becomes in effect their “god”! There are multitudes of others who follow various other gods. For example, the Hindus have almost innumerable gods. Muslims, on the other hand, strongly argue for just one god, whom they call Allah, but it was not Allah who “made the heavens.” The truth revealed in the Bible is that it was God’s “dear Son” by whom “were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth” (Colossians 1:13, 16). Allah denies that he even has a Son, and he calls those who believe otherwise (meaning Christians) infidels. The Koran is alleged to consist of the verbally inspired words of Allah, but it (and therefore Allah) also denies the Trinity, as well as the death and resurrection of Christ, and so also denies that the Son of God provides salvation for all who believe on Him. That is more than enough to prove that Allah is not the God of the Bible.
In our text above, the word “idols” simply means “vanities.” It is all “in vain” to put one’s faith for eternity in a false god. The Lord Jesus alone, having created all things and paid the awful price to redeem all things, can truly provide eternal salvation. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). He Himself verified that “I am the way, . . . no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). HMM
This was well and boldly spoken, and Haman must have writhed in agony as he heard it.
As a condemned man, who would no more see the sun. He was so proud that the courtiers were glad to see his downfall; and as his malice towards Mordecai was common talk, they hastened to mention it to the king.
Esther 7:9, 10
But though Haman was dead, the edict for the slaughter of the Jews remained in force.
Esther 8:3-11, 15, 16
The decree to slay the Jews could not be reversed, but its sting was extracted by the new decree that the Jews might defend themselves, and slay their foes.
Esther 8:15, 16
Thus the seed of Abraham lived on, despite the plots of Satan and of Haman; and so shall the Church of the living God triumph over all the assaults of Rome and hell. Praise ye the Lord!
Crowns and thrones shall perish, kingdoms rise and wane,
But the church of Jesus constant will remain;
Gates of hell can never ‘gainst that church prevail,
We have God’s own promise, and it cannot fail.
O come, let us worship and bow down; for he is our God. (Psalm 95:6-7)
Are we presently missing important elements of worship in our churches? I speak of the genuine and sacred offering of ourselves as we worship the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We must ask the question, even though we are building great churches and large congregations. We are boasting about high standards and talking about revival. But as evangelical Christian believers, are we as concerned as we should be about the image we really project to the community around us? It cannot be denied that many who profess the name of Christ still fail to show forth His love and compassion!
It should say something to us that the often-quoted Jean-Paul Sartre described his turning to philosophy and hopelessness as a turning away from a secularistic church.
His indictment: “I did not recognize in the fashionable God who was taught me, Him who was waiting for my soul. I needed a creator: I was given a big businessman!”
Then said I, Ah, Lord God! behold, I cannot speak; for I am a child. But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.” Jer. 1:6, 7
Jeremiah was young and felt a natural shrinking when sent upon a great errand by the Lord; but He who sent him would not have him say, “I am a child.” What he was in himself must not be mentioned, but lost in the consideration that he was chosen to speak for God. He had not to think out and invent a message, nor to choose an audience: he was to speak what God commanded, and speak where God sent him, and this he would be enabled to do in strength not his own.
Is it not so with some young preacher, or teacher who may read these lines? God knows how young you are, and how slender are your knowledge and experience; but if He chooses to send you, it is not for you to shrink from the heavenly call. God will magnify Himself in your feebleness. If you were as old as Methuselah, how much would your years help you? If you were as wise as Solomon, you might be equally as willful as he. Keep you to your message and it will be your wisdom; follow your marching orders and they will be your discretion.