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Thursday May 24 – What good is it for one to gain the whole world…

What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? – Mark 8:36

Scripture reading: Mark 8: 22-38

In His public ministry, Jesus asked more than several sobering questions. Today’s text is one such example. It is a penetrating question that demands an answer from each one of us. What is it that we aspire to and why? On the day of days, God will demand an accounting from each one of us. If the cost is one’s soul, then whatever is gained – even if it be the whole world – is good for nothing. Sadly, ‘nothing’ is what the vast majority of people strive after – the things of the world.

Christian life is a long obedience in the same direction. Calvin argues:

“It is fitting for the faithful Christian to rise to a still higher level where Christ calls every disciple to ‘take up his cross.’ For all whom the Lord has chosen and received into the society of His saints ought to prepare themselves for a life that is hard, difficult, laborious and full of countless griefs.”

And yet, the Christian life, as marked out by Christ, knows no comparison. Christ gave His life so that we might gain ours. Christ calls us to self-denial so that we might have a life of purpose and passion for the things above. Christ calls us again today to follow after Him even if the road be difficult. Setting our minds on the things of God, thinking God’s thoughts after Him, brings true joy. It is what we were created for. Be encouraged in confessing that God’s ways are best. How is it with your soul?

Suggestions for prayer

Pray for the ongoing grace to stand firm for the gospel and a gospel life. Ask for strength for a life of self-denial. Thank our Saviour for preparing the way.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.

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