Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? [Mark 8:34-38]
I love how the Bible often turns culture and typical thought on it’s head. From “love your enemy” to “do nothing out of selfish ambition,” scripture has a way of making us rethink what we’ve always thought.
That same common theme runs through this short little scripture in Mark 8 as well. Jesus has just had the whole, “Who do people say I am?” conversation (a big deal!). Right after that, He drops a little wisdom on the disciples about how God’s economy really works.
Several times in these verses, Jesus tells us to GIVE – GIVE – GIVE
Then, Jesus says something that had to seem extremely odd to the disciples…
Jesus says to give to save your life.
GIVE to GAIN.
So, true life in Christ comes from giving up your life? Yep. In fact, this principle runs through, not just eternity and our salvation, but through our lives on earth.
God’s economy says, give to others, give generously, and watch God bless you. It still baffles me that the God that holds the world in His hands and has creation at His beckon call takes what little bit we can give and blesses us for it.
So if you’re in a spot where you feel like you’ve been giving a lot,
you feel like you’re almost “give out,”
you’ve sacrificed for years,
God’s economy doesn’t make sense… hey, God often doesn’t make sense.
That, though, is what makes Him so great!