Summer 2024

Daily Devotional: Monday, August 14 - Spiritual Riches

“What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” — Mark 8:36

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In 1980, too few fans were sitting in the seats for the Atlanta Flames NHL team, so the organization moved to Calgary in Canada where more hockey fans buy tickets and merchandise. Profit margin is a significant consideration in the survival of professional sports franchises.

But money isn’t everything. Oftentimes, people tend to draw near to God when food and provisions are scarce, and pray less when we have a lot in the bank and many possessions. For example, the Lord warned the Israelites not to forget God when they moved into Canaan, where food and supplies were plentiful (Deuteronomy 8). As God predicted, the people wandered away from the commandments when their bellies were full and they didn’t think they needed anything else (Judges 3:7). We always need God.

The devil challenged God to take away Job’s money, children, cattle and servants in order to show whether Job’s commitment to the Lord was based on his riches. When most things were taken away, including Job’s family and health, Job continued to serve God faithfully. Job endured because he focused on spiritual riches rather than the number of people sitting at his table or what he held in his hands. “But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold” (Job 23:10). Spiritual growth is priceless when we see through the eyes of faith.

When Saul moved from being a pharisee to being a pastor and missionary, he lost most of his worldly wealth in a short time. He reflected on what he lost and said it was worth it because Christ is of infinite value. “But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him” (Philippians 3:7-9).

Though nobody can explain all the reasons why some people have more money than others during our lifetimes, it’s important to realize that Heavenly wealth in a future world after this life is much more important than what we have now. Jesus asked one of the most important questions: “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” (Mark 8:36).

What are your eyes focused on? Earthly comforts or eternal riches?

— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Georgia

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