Losing to Win
"The man who tries to save his life will lose it; it is the man who loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s who will save it. What good can it do a man to gain the whole world at the price of his own soul? What can a man offer to buy back his soul once he has lost it?" (Mark 8:36 JB Phillips).
In the 1920s, Ernest Hemingway’s colleagues bet him that he couldn't write a story in six words. They paid up. Hemingway is said to have considered it his best work.
“For sale: Baby shoes. Never used.”
There’s tremendous sorrow and hopelessness in those six words. However, as followers of the Living Lord, we’re promised a perfect future: “But our hopes are set on new heavens and a new earth which He has promised us” (2 Peter 3:13 Phillips).
God has all we need. Himself. Everything Jesus is, we are (Col 2:9).
TobyMac, rap artist, recorded his rendition of Mark 8:36 in 2007. “I don’t wanna gain the whole world and lose my soul. Lord, what we gonna do? We’re relying on you. All eyes are on You. All eyes are on You, Lord.”
The Bible is full of seeming contradictions—the first are last, to save your life is to lose it, the meek inherits, love your enemies, be glad with persecution, strength comes from weakness, etc.. The Christian life is a magnanimous mystery far exceeding our comprehension and rests upon:
“The One who appeared in human flesh,
Was vindicated in the Spirit,
Seen by angels,
Proclaimed among the nations,
Believed in throughout the world,
Taken back to Heaven in glory”
(1 Timothy 3:16 Phillips).
God descended. God died. God lives.