Profit And Loss

What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Mark 8:36....The only place we need to see before we die is this place of seeing God, here and now......Ann Voskamp

 

The quote from Ann Voskamp came after she related how, while in a hairdresser's shop, she noticed the lady beside her reading a book titled "A Thousand Places To See Before You Die." It got her to thinking upon just how focused we are in the realm of the temporary. Don't get me wrong. I have a deep appreciation for the natural beauty of this world, and there remain many places I would like to see. Yet at this stage in my life, it is unlikely I'll ever get to see them. I don't feel a lack about that, and for two reasons. First, this world's vistas, no matter how spectacular, are mere reflections, and flawed ones at that, of the beauty of His heaven and eternity. I'm not sure that eternity will suffice in order for me to see them all. Secondly, and most importantly, if I never saw any of them, it would not matter, for I have seen Him. And I continue to see Him, and in so many different places. On the mountain top, and in the valley. In the light, and in the dark. In the known, and the unknown. In the midst of much, and in the midst of little. I see not with the eyes of flesh, but with the eyes of His Spirit. I've seen Him in many more than a thousand places, and many more than a thousand ways. I continue to see Him today, and I am not special. It is His deep desire that all would see Him. Yet we continue to feverishly pursue the "sights" of this world, seeing their splendor, but being blind to His.

So many live out their lives trying to make sure that they partake of all the best that this world can offer. I remember the old beer commercial, "You only go around once in life, so you have to grab for all the gusto you can." This is the life philosophy of too many, and too many of those who would call themselves His. Back in the 1980's Sandy Patty and Larnelle Harris sang, "I've just seen Jesus, and nothing will be the same anymore." Does such a song come from our hearts today? One can see the grandeur of the mountains, oceans, and forests and be amazed but unchanged. Not so with Him. Do we see with eyes that can see the far horizons of His Kingdom? Or do the passing attractions of this realm hold all of our attention? Are we grabbing for gusto, or clinging to Him? Blind Fanny Crosby could see nothing of this world, but with the eyes of her heart, she saw Jesus. So she could write, "Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine. Oh what a foretaste of glory divine." 
She could sing this because she lived this. Sightless in the world, she saw the vast beauty that is found in Him. Somehow, I believe she died having not one regret over not seeing any of those "thousand things" that book mentioned, if it meant that in seeing them, she would never see Him. She saw Him. Can we? Will we?

 

Jesus asked what it would profit us to gain (to "see") the whole world, and yet lose (never see Him) our soul? Some folks only understand profit and loss. Do we understand what is ours in the Kingdom of God? Are we spending our lives (and souls) pursuing the sights and attractions of this world, and all the while missing, not seeing Him, and losing everything in the meantime? Losing everything in eternity. Profit and loss. What is our profit, and what is our loss?

Blessings,
Pastor O

 

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