Gaining the World
March 22, 2006 • By Ed Wrather
Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works." - Matthew 16:24-27.
Here is a quote from Jim Carrey that is a quote I think everyone should read or hear and take to heart.
Jim says, "I think everybody should get rich and famous and (get) everything they ever dreamed of, so they can see that it's not the answer. You get famous and say, 'Well, if I do just one more thing that's really successful,' then one more thing after that, and then you just start getting tired of being disappointed in the outcome as far as your emotions go. 'That was a fantastic hit, but what now?' 'Thank God I learned that lesson. Only a moment with my daughter will make me happy, or having dinner with people I love.'" Talking about one famous and indicted CEO, Carrey says, "I think there's a giant God shaped hole in him that can't be filled, and he's trying to fill it with money."
Solomon in Ecclesiastes tells us much the same: "He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; nor he who loves abundance, with increase. This also is vanity. When goods increase, they increase who eat them; so what profit have the owners except to see them with their eyes? The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, whether he eats little or much; but the abundance of the rich will not permit him to sleep. There is a severe evil which I have seen under the sun: Riches kept for their owner to his hurt. But those riches perish through misfortune; when he begets a son, there is nothing in his hand. As he came from his mother’s womb, naked shall he return, to go as he came; and he shall take nothing from his labor which he may carry away in his hand. And this also is a severe evil - just exactly as he came, so shall he go. And what profit has he who has labored for the wind? All his days he also eats in darkness, and he has much sorrow and sickness and anger (Ecclesiastes 5:10-17)."
Money, possessions, and fame is not the ultimate happiness maker. Arriving on Success Boulevard does not guarantee happiness and satisfaction in life. For some, it has produced exactly the opposite as is seen with so many suicides among the rich and famous (i.e. Jimi Hendrix, Marilyn Monroe, Kurt Cobain, Ernest Hemingway, etc. For a surprisingly long and sad list, you can go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_famous_suicides ).
Christian suicide prevention help: http://www.christiansuicideprevention.com/
What will bring you happiness, satisfaction, and joy?
Jesus tells us this, "Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble (Matthew 6:30-34)."
Gaining the whole world and everything in it, along with great fame, will not give you happiness, satisfaction and joy. Seeking first the Kingdom of God is the only way to fill up that God shaped hole in your life. You were designed for God and only in Him will you find life, the abundant life.
That is why Jesus came, to save all of us lost and hurting people and in the process to give us life, real life. "…for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10)."
"I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly (John 10:10b)."