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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

On Your Mark by Dr. George O. Wood


What Do You Want More Than Anything?

What good is it for a man to gain the world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? (Mark 8:36,37, NIV)

Jesus asks you two of the most important questions you will ever answer.

Imagine a scale. On one side is the whole world. On the other, your soul. You can have one or the other, but not both.

There’s never been a human who owns the whole world — not Caesar, not Napoleon, not Warren Buffet, Bill Gates or Donald Trump. The richest people on earth own only billions, but that’s a grain of sand compared to the composite wealth of the whole world.

Jesus says, “Suppose you had it all. Everything. Everything you’ve always wanted — money, fame, position, family, health, influence — everything. All together — they are not as valuable to you as your soul.”

Your soul is you — the you that lasts forever. Jesus says you are more important than anything you could ever have. If that is the case, then you must pay attention to who you are.

The question Jesus asks comes within the context of His call that you deny yourself for His cause. He’s saying that when you choose this world — with all its passing values — rather than Him and His gospel, then you forfeit your eternal soul.

Instead, Jesus says: “Deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me.” In other words, you are to live by His terms. It’s not your agenda that counts. If you think that following Jesus will bring you wealth, fame and comfort — think again. You’re likely to experience suffering. The cross is not fun and games. Self-fulfillment is much easier than self-denial.

But, if you lose your life for Him, then you save it for eternity.

Jesus, in so many words, asks: “What will you trade for your soul?” Will you trade it for what is temporary: wealth, things, a title or position, sex, approval from others, security, personal ambition?

You are of more value than all things of this earth. In fact, you are so valuable Jesus came to earth to lay down His life for you. He took the punishment for your sin so that you could stand before God without fault or blame of any kind.

When I was younger, I heard preachers say: “When you quote John 3:16, put your own name in place of the word ‘world.’ ‘God so loved [your name] that He gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life’” (NIV).

I used to think: I’m not that valuable. He wouldn’t have come just for me. There had to be a critical mass of people — perhaps hundreds of thousands or even millions — before He would have thought it worthwhile to lay down His life as a substitute for sinners.

But my view did not square with the reality of Jesus’ own teaching. He looks for even one lost sheep, one lost coin, one lost son (Luke 15). The amazing love of God is that Jesus would have come for you alone if you were the only one who needed the gift of salvation, the gift of eternal life.

He values you so much that He laid down His life for you! Will you give Him your life in return?

A prayer of response
Lord Jesus, I do not want to forfeit my soul. I don’t want to spend my life living for things that do not matter. I place all that I am and have in Your hands.

GEORGE O. WOOD is general superintendent of the Assemblies of God.

On Your Mark

Previous Years

2013 On Your Mark

2012 On Your Mark

2011 On Your Mark

2010 On Your Mark

2009 On Your Mark

2008 On Your Mark

Podcasts of On Your Mark are available in video and audio.
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