Lose Your Life And Save It

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. (Mark 8:35)

We diligently involve ourselves in all sorts of programs to retain our health, wellbeing and ultimately our life.  We do all we can to extend our life here on this earth.  Exercise.  Eating Right.  Consistent Doctor Visits.  Taking Vitamins.  Self preservation to extend your life on this earth is good.  I believe if the fountain of youth had any truth to it, many of us would give all that we have to be able to stay young and live forever.  However, for one to save his life in the spiritual realm, you must give it up.  You must give your life wholly and totally to the service of the Lord.  There is a paradox within this text.  It simply says to live you must die.  You must give your life in this world to receive a life in the world to come.  If you are seeking to save your own life in this world, it simply means death in the new world.  What does it mean to lose your life?  It means to deny yourself.  It means that you cannot be self-centered and still follow Christ’s example.  It means you must likewise take up your cross.  It means that you would not seek all that the world has to offer but rather you would seek the kingdom of heaven.  When one loses his life for Christ’s sake and for the sake of the gospel, the same one shall save his life.

I Can’t Keep It To Myself

And he charged them that they should tell no man of him. (Mark 8:30)

Jesus commanded the disciples not to tell anyone about Him.  This is very strange.  Some theologians feel that it is because they did not totally understand the role of the Messiah.  Some feel that it is because the disciples needed to know what would happen to Him concerning His death.  Yet others feel that it is because He felt that they would get the story wrong if they attempted to tell it now before being filled with the Holy Spirit.  Whatever the reason He said it then, but He is not saying that to us today.  No longer does He say “tell no man”.  Jesus is not telling us to be quiet about Him.  But quite the opposite, Jesus is saying to tell everyone about me.  Wherever you go and as you go, tell others about Christ.  Get the story right and tell someone else.  Tell them in Jerusalem and in all Judaea and in Samaria and unto the uttermost parts of the world.  Tell them in your home.  Tell them in your neighborhood.  Tell them all over your city.  Jesus is saying go into the highways and hedges and compel men, women, boys and girls to come unto Me.  He says go into all nations and teach them and baptize them in the name of the Father and in the name of the Son and in the name of the Holy Ghost.  Teach people everywhere to observe and obey God’s word and to believe the good news concerning Jesus Christ.  TELL EVERYONE THAT HE LIVES.  I discovered that I can’t keep it to myself.

The Result Of Disbelief

But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.  And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. (Mark 6:4-5)

If the result of belief is positive action, then the result of disbelief is negative action.  To put it another way, the result of disbelief is no action.  God wants His children to trust him.  He wants us to believe in Him.  He wants us to depend upon Him.  Jesus decided not to do any works in His home town of Nazareth because of their disbelief.  He only healed a few sick folks there because of their faith.  His power was not diminished.  His power was not limited.  His power was not insufficient.  But Christ power is displayed in the midst of our faith.  As we believe, he acts.  If we disbelieve, he will not act upon our behalf.  Those who desire miracles in their lives must show their faith in Christ by believing on Him. Always remember that faith is an action word.  Faith is made alive by what we do.

Only Believe

As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe. (Mark 5:36)

In this fifth chapter of Mark, Jesus performs three miracles very close in proximity to one another.  If there are certain chapters in the Bible that can be used to strengthen one’s faith in Christ, this one is surely close to the top of the list.  Jesus crosses over the sea of Galilee and heals a man possessed with many demons.  He returns to the other side of the sea and is approached by a synagogue ruler whose daughter is sick.  As He is on his way to heal the ruler’s daughter, a women who had been sick for 12 years touches the garment of Jesus and is immediately healed.  As Jesus continues on to the ruler’s home, some people came from the rulers house to tell him that his daughter is already dead.  Jesus says to the ruler, be not afraid, only believe.  Jesus has power over evil, over sickness and even over death.        

How many times have you been walking with Jesus and someone has come alone and told you that you were wasting your time.  How many times has God assured you of a blessing and friends and family attempt to discourage you by telling you that it is useless, it’s over, it’s a waste of time.  How many times has those who are close to you told you that it will never come to fruition.  It will never come to pass.  How many times have others discouraged you from trusting in God because they are looking at the situation through the eyes of man?  Jesus says be not afraid, only believe.  He is saying to us today, be not afraid, only believe.  It does not matter what man says.  Man does not have the last say.  Man will tell you that your desire is dead.  Man will tell you that your dream is dead.  Man will say “that which you delight in is dead and needs to be buried.”  But the psalmist declares in Psalm 37-4, delight thyself in the Lord, and he shall give thee the desires of thy heart.  We hear folks say often “If God said it, you can believe it.” That statment is absolutely true.  That statement is unequivocably correct.  You can believe whatever God has said and let no one tell you different.  For God cannot lie.  With God, all things are possible.  Nothing is too hard for God.  Only believe.

Worldly Worries And Wealth Vs The Word

And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. (Mark 4:19)

Do you feel a rope wrapped around your mind?  Do you feel yourself being choked?  The world seeks to choke God’s Word from us daily.  Satan uses our own desires to choke God’s word from us.  If we claim that the desires of the world does not effect us, we are only fooling ourselves and making it easier to get trapped.  Worldly desires are real.  The world offers desirable things.  Know this.  Those things will fade away.  Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven.  God’s kingdom can be found in obedience to His Word.  We each must question ourselves daily.  Are my worldly desires hindering me from serving Christ?  Are my worries about daily necessities causing me to do that which is displeasing to God?  Am I allowing fleshly desires to cause me to ignore what God would have me to do?  Have I been deceived by the riches of this world?  Does lust control my life?  Does my worldly desires overwhelm me?  What is my main priority or focus in life?  Is it to become rich?  Notice what happens when the word is choked because of one’s care for worldly things.  They become unfruitful.  Maybe they are saved, maybe they are lost.  Either way, there is no fruit for the kingdom of heaven.  When the Word of God takes root in our lives and we nurture it, we become fruitful, some an hundredfold, some thirtyfold, and some sixtyfold.  When we receive the Word and it is received on good ground, there will be fruit for God’s kingdom.  Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.

Jesus Came To Call Sinners To Repentance

When Jesus heard it,  He said to them,  “Those who are well have no need of a physician,  but those who are sick.  I did not come to call the righteous,  but sinners,  to repentance.” (Mark 2:17 NKJV)

Some times we as Christians are too busy calling Church folks from one Church to another Church.  (Witnessing to those who are already saved.)  We lose sight of what we have been commissioned to do by Jesus (Matt 28:18-20).  If Jesus focus was non-believers, surely our priority should be to minister to the unsaved.  We have all heard the saying ” you may be the only Bible that people will read”.  This is a true statement.  Ask yourself this question.  What are unbelievers reading when they observe me?  Our task is to evangelize,  just as Jesus did,  no matter who we are.  The commission is to all of us.  And we will be held accountable.

Jesus Is Still A Healer

And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him. (Mark 1:34)

Whenever one needs healing, a good place to begin is by bringing them to Jesus.  Jesus is a healer.  Isn’t it strange that folks today who claim to be healers or claim to have the ability to cast out evil spirits want their name in the newspaper, on television, in bright lights and anywhere they can get fame.  What a contrast in Christ!  He does not permit the devils to speak because they knew him.  They knew He was God.  If you have a loved one who needs healing from diabetes.  Bring them to Jesus.  Or maybe a family member who needs healing from AIDS.  Bring them to Jesus.  Your friend needs healing from sin.  Surely bring them to Jesus.  He will wash away all sins and make you whole.

Speaking With Authority

Then they were all amazed,  so that they questioned among themselves,  saying ”What is this? What new doctrine is this? For with authority He commands even the unclean spirits,  and they obey Him.” (Mark 1:27 NKJV)

When Jesus spoke, He did not use knowledge that He gained from man.  Jesus spoke with authority.  He speaks with authority because of who He is.  He is the Word of God in the living flesh.  (John 1:4).  Jesus spoke with authority and therefore, we who serve Him can speak with authority.  I am not saying that we can command unclean spirits or have the wind and sea obey us, however, we can stand with authority and confidence upon all that His word declares.  We can declare with confidence that Christ will never leave us or forsake us.  We can declare with confidence that with God, all things are possible.  We can declare with confidence that all things work together for good to them that love God.  We can declare with confidence that with God on our side, He is more that they that be against us.  We can declare with confidence that I can do all things through Christ which strenghtens me.  We can speak with authority that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God.

Repent and Believe

Then all the land of Judea, and those from Jerusalem,  went out to him and were all baptized by him in the Jordan River confessing there sins. (Mark 1:5 NKJV)

It’s good to know that we have a God that cares and desires to have a relationship with us.  By sending Jesus to die on an old rugged cross for our sins , God has opened the door for us to be adopted into His family.

In order to gain access through the open door, it is dependent upon our willingness to acknowledge our sins by turning away from them and turning to God.  By doing this, we can rest assured that we are made righteous through the death,  burial, and the resurrection of Jesus which allows us to become heirs of God’s Royal Family.

The Holy Spirit of God

I indeed baptized you with water,  but He will baptize you with The Holy Spirit. (Mark 1:8 NKJV)

Do you remember when you were baptized and the emotions you experienced on that special day?  It was certainly a special day.  There was a day that should have been just as special or maybe even with greater joy.  That is the day in which you actually came into the faith of Jesus Christ and accepted Him as Lord and Savior.   For most of us, this happened before baptism. 

Just as the water of baptism symbolizes the death, burial, and the resurrection of the old man, and the outward profession of the union with Christ; so also does the immersion into the Living Water (The Holy Spirit) depicts the union of all whom are of the body of Christ.  When you accept Christ, at that point, you are baptized with the Holy Spirit.  Praise God for His Spirit.  The Holy Spirit will put fire in your bones.