A number of years ago a friend of mine had a classic automobile. He really took care of that car. Every so often, he would have it painted and would keep it polished to a showroom shine. He took good care of it mechanically. Any work needed, from rebuilding the motor to rebuilding the transmission, was done. People admired his car. Sometimes someone would ask if the car was for sale, and he would reply, "Everything that I have is for sale . . . for the right price."
If we think about it, that statement would be true for most of us with almost anything that we own. If someone were to ask me if our two cars (both having over 100,000 miles on them) were for sale, I would say that they were not. But, if the person said he would give me $100,000 for the two cars, my answer would change. I would say, "Where do I sign?"
But, we do possess something that is more valuable than any earthly possession. It has so much value that it is worth more than all of the wealth in the world. That possession is our soul, and we should never "sell" it. Note what Jesus said in Matthew 16:24-27:
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.
It would be impossible for people to gain the entire world with all of its riches, honors, and pleasures. By earthly standards, they would be considered wealthy with far less. But, even if one could possess the entire world, their soul would still be worth more.
Consider two questions. For what is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? The answer is he would not be profited anything. If a person loses his soul, he will dwell eternally in hell instead of heaven. Next, what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? The answer should be "nothing." Eternal life (heaven) is so valuable a person should do whatever God requires to obtain it, and once it is obtained, he should not give it up for anything, not even for all of the wealth on earth.
The apostle Paul had obtained high status in the Jewish religion, but he was willing to give this up, and anything else, for Christ. He pointed out in Philippians 3:7-8, "But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ." In Galatians 2:20, he said, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."
What choices are we making today? Are we putting Christ first? Sadly, many are exchanging eternal life for that which is material and which only lasts for a short time. What are you giving in exchange for your soul?
By Mike Johnson
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