Posted in Matthew

Profitable Lives

“What will it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” Matthew 16:26

God wants us to see the big picture and give ourselves to those things that will ultimately lead to our own profit. So what will lead us to a profitable life before God and man? Here are four observations from the passage in Matthew 16 where the verse above is taken from.

  1. It involves a revelation of who Jesus is. “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by My Father in heaven.” (Matthew 16:17) The foundation of a profitable life is Jesus Christ. Building your life on anything else will eventually be revealed as sinking sand.
  2. It involves a personal cross. “If anyone would come after me he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.” (Matthew 16:24) Thank God that Jesus went to the cross for us, and made the payment for our sins required by a holy God. But that doesn’t change the fact that each of us will have a personal cross and a Gethsemane where we will either choose to trust God in the midst of our pain, or turn from God and reject His purpose for us. Joni Erickson Tada said: “Sometimes God allows what He hates to accomplish what He loves.” This sounds like a good definition of the cross.
  3. It involves freedom from self preservation. “Whoever wants to save his life will lose it but whoever loses his life for Me will find it.” (Matthew 16:25) Don’t try to make your own life; grab a hold of Jesus and He will make you exactly who you were originally designed to be.
  4. It involves a process. “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” (Matthew 16:23) Shortly after Jesus speaks into Peter’s destiny, Peter must be rebuked for going the wrong way, a way that came naturally to him. We must accept the fact that our natural way of thinking is often wrong. This is not a one time event, but a way of life for a disciple. Jesus wasn’t discouraged with Peter. He was only keeping His promise to him: “Follow Me and I will make you…” He makes the same promise to you and me.