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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

I Was Made for Something Greater Than Myself

In review of Mark 8:35 it says, “If you insist on saving your life, you will lose it. Only those who throw away their lives for my sake and for the sake of the Good News will ever know what it means to really live.”

Bottom Line:
If you try to save you life for your own goals, you’ll only end up losing it. Those who give up their life for the sake of sharing the Good News, will save it.

What this means to me:
If I try to save and secure my life for just my own benefit, I will ultimately lose it for eternity. I’m made for something much greater, and that is to share the Good News so that it can make a difference in others lives as well. This will help me save my life for what is best.

Today's passage comes from the last part of Mark chapter 8 in which Jesus predicts his death.

Jesus explained to his disciples that he must suffer many terrible things and be rejected by the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. Although he would be killed, three days later he would rise from the dead.  To this Peter pulled Jesus aside and reprimanded him for saying such things.  Jesus replies with "get away from me, Satan!" You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not God's.

Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, Jesus said, "if any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang onto 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.  What do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?  Is anything worth more than your soul?  If anyone is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in the glory of his Father.

In summary, this passage provides some direction and guidance for my life. I am to give up my own way, take up my cross and follow Jesus. I am to give my life for the sake of communicating the Good News. With this I can see that I was made for something much greater than myself.

Fulfillment in life is often never really achieved. With all we have, why don’t we feel more fulfilled? Far too many people are asking that question. It seems we’re not happy, we’re not satisfied, in fact, we’re often miserable.

Rick Warren provided this example from a book titled, “Rich, Free, and Miserable”, in which a sociologist John Brueggemann shared a great story that illustrated why this is. Climbing Mount Everest is one of the challenges that inspire people to do something big. Lots of people try, even though nearly 10 percent of the people who do, die in the process. Many of the corpses still line the path up the mountain. Yet people still want to climb the mountain — though it has no real redeeming social value.

A few years back one climber, David Sharp, was clearly in trouble on the mountain. There were 40 climbers who noticed his obvious need but passed him that day. He died on Mount Everest because none of the other climbers were willing to put their personal goal on hold to help him.

That’s us. Our own personal drive to have more, be more, and do more causes us to lose sight of what really matters. But that isn’t how God wired us. Life isn’t about what you make, who you know, or what you do. Life is all about love, loving God and loving others.

Jesus tells us in Mark 8:35, “Only those who throw away their lives for my sake and for the sake of the Good News will ever know what it means to really live” (TLB). God has wired me in such a way that I’ll never be happy unless you’re giving your life away in his work. You were made for something greater than yourself. The Bible calls this your mission in life. Significance doesn’t come from status, salary, or sex. It comes from service. Only by giving your life away can you feel that your life has significance.

I need to keep in mind those times when I’m unhappy, unsatisfied or miserable that I’m focusing on some cause other than Christ’s. I’ll find significance in my life from serving others.