“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man 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: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Matthew 16:24-26
“I don’t want to be a failure in front of all those people,” a friend shared intimately with me one day.
If we’re truly honest with ourselves, is this not something to which some, if not many, of us can relate? The fear of what others think of us? That we will fail in the eyes of this world? Does not our culture teach us that our appearance to others, whether it be our physical looks, our resumes, our words and actions, our everything, should be approved of, accepted by, validated by, affirmed by, confirmed by, and, yes, even loved and applauded and praised and adored by this world?
Do you know something? We can live to be a success in the eyes of this world and accumulate all the approval, acceptance, validation, affirmation, confirmation, love, applause, praise, and adoration of this entire world, and not one iota of it will amount to anything when we lose our lives and our souls and we’re enduring eternal torment in hell and the lake of fire forever apart from God because we lived our lives for ourselves and the devil rather than for the Lord Jesus Christ.
Or we can be willing to give up the approval, acceptance, validation, affirmation, confirmation, love, applause, praise, and adoration of this world, which we will most probably do when we turn our backs on the world’s ways and live according to God’s Word and ways, for the Lord’s sake, to live to love and glorify Him, to please and adore Him, to honor and revere Him, to magnify and exalt Him, and gain eternal life. Not just forever in heaven, but forever and ever amazingly glorious magnificent beautiful breathtakingly awesome indescribably joyful unbelievably peaceful inexpressibly intimate thrilling ecstatically brilliant forever and ever personal fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ who does not desire us to live for the world’s applause but that we die to our fleshly lusts and instead live and breathe to worship God forever!