Read: Mark 8:36-37

What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? (v. 36)

We human beings seem to be hardwired to want things—and we want them now! We call it “instant gratification.” Why should we wait? Instant gratification may sound good, but is it really? Most of the things we want satisfy us for the moment, but most do not have long-lasting positive effects on us. Fast food may be fast, but is it nutritious? It may be convenient, but is it healthy?

Our Lord realized that instant gratification is not the way to go. In particular, Jesus is setting up a contrast in values. What things are really important to us? Usually we are tempted to set our hearts on material things and earthly successes. For example, working your way up the ladder of success may seem admirable—but is it the most important thing? Jesus puts it this way: “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” (v. 36).

Our top priority should be honoring God above all. You can be successful and rich here on earth, but what about in the world to come? What about your soul—that part of you that will live forever? Jesus wants us to live with an eye on eternity. “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else . . . and he will give you everything you need” (Matt. 6:33 NLT).

—John Koedyker

Prayer: Help us, Lord, to live with our priorities straight and our eyes fixed on eternity. Amen.