"When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?"
This is the way of God. Death to self. If you try to hold onto any part of your life in this world you can ultimately lose your soul in the end.
And isn't it the American dream to have the big house, the attractive spouse, a fancy car, respect and admiration from your peers?
But the words of Jesus that lead to eternal life are the exact opposite of everything the world holds dear.
"Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life."
In order to truly live, you must die! And I mean complete death of all that you are in this world, and what does Jesus promise if you give up your life for Him and the gospel? Eternal Life!!!
The blessed assurance and hope of living forever with God in complete love, peace, and joy for all eternity!! What could be better than that?
So the question is, have you died yet? Or are you still holding on to that bank account? To the American dream?
And if you are a Christian, is there something still in you that you haven't completely surrendered to God?
Paul understood the ways of God and applied the teachings of Jesus to his life, will you do the same?
"But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world."