An apostle of Jesus once made a distinction between the Bible and all other books. According to Hebrews 4:12, the Bible is living and acting. This passage suggests that each time you open up any of the 66 books inside, the Holy Spirit will teach you something different or new depending upon what you are going through or have recently experienced. Unfortunately, many readers succumb to pride with thoughts such as “been there done that, heard that before or how many times do I have to hear the same old story?”
For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it, Mark 8:35.
As I was minding my own business this weekend, God awakened me, providing discernment to take a closer look at the meaning of life. The verse above struck a nerve as if to say to me, “you’re going down the wrong track, trying to hold on to your life.” Immediately, I was confronted with my current situation, trusting in my own abilities and talents to provide for my family rather than solely rely on Jehovah-Jireh, the Lord who provides. I know this may sound crazy to some or many of my readers, yet listen to the case study below.
What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? – Mark 8:36
From 2002-2012, I spent a decade losing my life as a high school Bible teacher, placing everything into God’s hands. Subsequently, despite making much less than public school teachers, the Lord supernaturally provided daily bread. Checks came in the mail at the perfect timing, secret donors paid for my children’s tuition and relative strangers handed me cash to stay out of debt. Whereas the past 3 years since leaving youth ministry, trying to save my life has resulted in mounting debt. It shouldn’t make sense, yet in biblical terms it does.
Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? – Mark 8:37
Nobody wakes up one day and says, “I’m going to forfeit my soul.” Rather, this is a gradual process of choosing to save your own life instead of laying it down into your heavenly Father’s hands. Sure, it feels good to be in the driver’s seat, maintaining control. However, in the long run, lives are wasted in exchange for the temporary pleasures in life. Though my testimony may be unbelievable, I pray that the next time you open the Bible, your heart, mind and soul will possess a teachable spirit so that the Holy Spirit will help you to embrace this living and active book.
by Jay Mankus