Giving Your All

Key Verse: “When he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”
—Mark 8:34

Selected Scripture:
Mark 8:27-38

THE PROPHETS FORETOLD the coming of a great leader for God. When Jesus appeared, claiming to be God’s Messiah, most did not recognize him. Clearly, the crowds did not comprehend that he was the Messiah. After all, he did not conduct himself in the manner in which they were expecting God’s Messiah to act—not the conquering, hero-type Messiah people were expecting. Even today, Christians tend to measure power and influence by the methods of the world. When Jesus asked his disciples what effect his ministry was having on the people, some said they believed John the Baptist had come back to life, others thought he was Elijah, who would prepare the way for the Messiah to come.

Jesus was interested in his disciples’ understanding of who he was. Peter responded, “Thou art the Christ [Messiah].” (Matt. 16:16) Messiah is the Hebrew, and Christos is Greek, for the ‘Anointed One.’ Their understanding was far short of Jesus’ understanding that the Messiah was destined to suffer and die and rise again after three days. “He spake that saying openly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him.” (Mark 8:32) Jesus then “rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.” (vs. 33) Peter’s intent was not to show disrespect; he said what he did because he loved Jesus. He couldn’t bear the thought of Jesus suffering and dying.

Jesus did not ask anyone to do, or to face, anything that he was not prepared to do and face himself. Jesus called the people and his disciples unto him, and said, “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 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. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (vss. 34-36) Just as Jesus invited the disciples to deny themselves and take up their cross, so Jesus demonstrated a life of sacrifice for others and a willingness to bear the cross for the sins of the world.

God gave us life to spend and not to keep. Those always thinking first of their own profit, ease, comfort, and security are losing life all the time. But those who spend their lives for others, forgetting health, wealth, and comfort in their desire to do something for Jesus, and the people for whom Jesus gave his life, will gain immeasurably.

The Apostle Paul said, “What things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. … That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. … I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”—Phil. 3:7-14

Giving our all to God will result in the loss of earthly things, even life itself, but in so doing we will be laying up “treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt.”—Matt. 6:20

Dawn Bible Students Association
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