Okay – I’m going to admit. I am a loser. You see when I gave my life to Jesus I made a choice to begin to lose some things – first of all the world suddenly lost its appeal. I read in the Word that to love the world was enmity with God and little by little He separated me from the world system which had held me captive.
“For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away.” Luke 9:25
” But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.” Phillipians 3:7
“……and took joyfully, the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and more enduring substance.” Hebrews 10:34
Some people lose family and friends when they come to the Lord. The world loves its own and some prefer darkness to light because light exposes sin in our lives. Even Jesus’s disciples were tempted to complain when they said they had lost everything to follow Him. Jesus told them that not only would they gain eternal life but would gain many blessings in this life as well. The Lord richly blesses His people and these blessings are to further His Kingdom while we are temporarily here on earth.
The great patriarch of faith Abraham forsook all to follow the leading of the Spirit. “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed and he went out, not knowing whither he went.” Hebrews 11:8 Abraham’s faith was intrinsically bound to his obedience.
In another place Jesus said “If ye love me ye will obey me.”
“He that findeth his life shall lose it, and he that loseth his life for my sake, shall find it.” Matthew 10:39 Did you notice there that the words “for my sake” are included. Some have attempted to lose their life but they didn’t do it for the Lord’s sake. Big difference!
“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” Mat 16:25
Now the philosophy of the world is diametrically opposed to the ways and will of God. The world equates success with increase and worldly gain. I believe it is possible for one aspect of the end time snare to be believing economic prosperity means the favor of God. Remember Satan offered Jesus all the kingdoms of the world and the “glory of them”. So that tells me that the enemy is able to bless financially.
Again, as I said in the beginning of this post, “I am a loser.” However, let me qualify this statement to say that whatever I lost from this world was gain to me in heaven’s realm. Hallelujah! You can never give up something for Jesus that He doesn’t pay back greater than your loss and that is a promise. Heart attitude is important here. It is pride to give up something to appear more spiritual than others or to take “self denial” to an exaggerated extreme, but when sacrifice is done with a heart towards God and Him alone then there will always be gain. He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. The carnal mind is enmity to God, so we need to crucify the flesh daily and take up our cross and follow Jesus. The only way to have a spiritual mind is to have the Mind of Christ and be filled with the Holy Ghost.
Some have gone so far as to believe that their earthly gain is godliness.
“Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.” 1Timothy 6:5 The “godliness is gain” folk are on the fast-track. They are driven by success in this world and will go to every conference available if it will tell them how to prosper in this life. If one wants to know how to be successful in this life study the book of Proverbs where Solomon pours out great wisdom for living this life in this wonderful book. Wisdom is the principal thing we should be seeking, and will be the stability of the difficult days we are living in.
What does the Word say in I Timothy 6:6 “But godliness with contentment is great gain.” How many contented folk have you met lately? Now contentment is not complacency. Complacent people are self-satisfied and lose vision and purpose in life. But a contented person knows their portion in this life is all in God. They commit all things into His hands. They are content in the Lord whether they are abased or whether they are abounding. The Apostle Paul had to learn to be “content” in both situations. It is easy to be content when everything is going well with health, family and finances but it is another thing to be content when you are misunderstood, maligned, or persecuted for the cause of Christ.
The Word of God is given for our instruction and correction and I rejoice today for His daily bread. “Dear Lord, mold us into your image.”