Can I Come In?

Little five year old boys don’t usually want to play with girls putting on makeup – unless it is boring because there are no other boys around. That changes everything. At least it did for Jude, my grandson. My four granddaughters had locked themselves in the... read more

My Mother’s Christmas Wish

Devotion: When I was a little girl, the number one question I asked all my family before December 25th was “What do you want for Christmas?” I asked my sisters and my brother, my mother and my father. It was a huge question for me because my funds were limited to a small... read more


“What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” Mark 8:36 (NIV)

Have you ever prayed for someone and then realized much later that you had not been praying the way the Lord would have wanted? Probably we all have. A friend of mine shared with me how the Lord redirected her prayer quickly and clearly.
Barbara told me that she had lunch with a couple who told her they were struggling financially. They shared how there never seemed to be enough money at the end of the month for everything they felt they needed along with paying all the bills.
“My heart just broke for how hard they worked,” she told me. “Even though they both had great jobs, they were worried that they would be bankrupt within a few months if things didn’t turn around financially.”
As Barbara drove away after lunch, she said she began to lift the couple up to the Lord. “Father, please help them,” she prayed.  “The last thing they need is to be bankrupt.” But she said that the Lord immediately spoke truth to her heart.
“Pray for them. But understand the problem is not that they are bankrupt financially; it is that they are bankrupt spiritually.” Her prayer instantly changed for the couple.
Our Father knew that the pull of the world and what it offered would be a huge temptation for His children. That is why there is one Scripture after another in the Bible that addresses that very struggle.
In today’s Key Scripture in Mark 8:36, Jesus asks a pointed question: “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” He is speaking to a large crowd with His disciples at His side and yet He is speaking to us, too.
The couple Barbara spoke with could fail to pay the money they owe and have to declare bankruptcy. They could also work harder, perhaps, and pay off their financial debt.
But can I ask you this: what’s the point of being financially free if we're spiritually bankrupt?
Every single thing that the world offers us may appear beautiful but it is temporary. And because of sin, the more we get the more we want.
Jesus offers us eternal freedom. We can never pay the debt of being spiritually bankrupt but we don’t need to because Jesus paid that debt with His death on the cross.
When you give Jesus your heart – your everything – you are no longer spiritually bankrupt. You are eternally His.
If you have financial debt, I encourage you to seek Christian financial counseling to get on the right path.
But first, go before the Lord and ask Him to be Lord of your life. Get in the Word and seek His direction for everything that you do, every day. Be spiritually debt-free in Him. For eternity.

Father, I want you to be the focus of my life completely. May I look less at what the world offers and more on your face and eternal life. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Where is the majority of your focus centered every day? Spiritually or worldly? More of Jesus or more of stuff?

Journal today’s Key Scripture. Under “gain the whole world” write down everything material that you consider important in your life and cannot live without. Now, beside each one, write “yes” or “no” as you consider whether each thing on your list is worth forfeiting your soul. If you answered “yes” to anything you wrote down, seek the Lord’s face and lay that item down before Him.

Mark 8:36 (NIV) “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?”
Matthew 6:21 (NIV) “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Proverbs 23:5 (NIV) “Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.”

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Copyright 2010  Nancy E. Hughes