03/25/20 Gaining the Whole World?

READING: Deuteronomy 15-18, Psalm 115, Luke 9

These words of Jesus are especially potent to me today: “For what does it benefit someone if he gains the whole world, and yet loses or forfeits himself?” (Luke 9:25). I’ve read these words, and I’ve preached messages centered around them. I’ve turned to them to try to remind me that I must not get enamored with the “things” of the world. I know in my head that it will all pass away in the end, anyway—and what matters is making sure that I’ve denied myself, taken up my cross, and followed Jesus. Nevertheless, I don’t always live with that focus.

In these days of the coronavirus threat, though, I’m thinking about this truth again with a bit more urgency. The thought of going to the store to buy anything other than essentials just doesn’t make sense right now; in fact, we can’t even find some of the essentials we think we need. The likely coming economic downfall has caused us already to be more cautious in our spending. We know that our retirement income is changing with each day, and there’s little we can do about it. Our minds are simply not focused on “stuff” as the world faces this global threat.

At the same time, though, leaning on Jesus has become even more critical right now. He is sovereign over all we’re facing, and He really does work things together for our good (Rom 8:28). I’m deeply, deeply grateful that we can turn to Him, lay our fears at His feet, intercede for others we love, and trust Him with the future. Knowing Him really is much greater than gaining the whole world! 

PRAYER: “Lord, help me to deny myself today, take up my cross, and follow You.”

TOMORROW’S READING: Deuteronomy 19-22, Psalm 6, Luke 10