Profit and Loss: Discerning the true Cost of Consecration
Nov 22, 2020
In service today we touched some concepts that isn’t so popular these days, the fact that we’ll all die one day. Death is an inevitable characteristic of every living thing on earth right now and it is pertinent that we have proper understanding of the subject, that way we may invest properly during our stay here.
What happens to our earthly possessions after death?
Jesus gave a story of a particular rich man (Luke 12:15–21). The story depicts a man who was blessed with much harvest that he had more than enough to satisfy both himself and many others in the community but instead he decided to hoard all the produce for himself alone. In end, the man died and obviously left everything to the fate of someone else to decide what to do with it.
Solomon helps us to explain what the rich man had missed (Ecclesiastes 2:18–20). In his words, he likens acquiring riches for pleasure to vanity. The fact that a man can and will die at any time already limits the importance of investing time, energy, and resources into pleasure. Just like the story of the rich man, one may leave the earth just when he starts to reap the benefits of his investments.
If death is the case for all men, what profitable thing then can we invest into while on Earth?
What then is valuable here on Earth?
“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”
I like the way Jesus structured the question to accommodate for the prominent profession at that time. In accounting speak, making a profit entails that the gain is greater than the loss. From the earlier texts, we see that this present world and that is in it is limited by time. Jesus compares that with the eternal nature of the human soul. There are some proof and evidence of after-death experiences documented by doctors and scientists. This shows a secondary form of existence even after the body perishes. It is therefore wiser and more profitable to invest in what has eternal nature simply because it has eternal value.
How then can we invest in our soul profitably?
Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:12-end extensively discusses why believers are most joyous amongst men. It all stems from the fact that we have an eternal hope in Christ Jesus, and a glorious future to look forward to even after death. Jesus describes this experience by liking the kingdom of God as unto a treasure that is worth more than all one has on earth (Matthew 13:44–46).
This changes our perspective of earthly living. An understanding of what we have inherited in eternity through Christ Jesus would stir our desires towards the things that secure that place in eternity, hence 1 Timothy 4:15. Paul admonishes that we continuously meditate on the knowledge of those things we have inherited and allow our passions and desires to be wholly immersed in them to the point that one is sold out.
We established that the profit therein is definitely not monetary as that too has limited value and may just hinder the consistent fellowship with God here on earth. The true profit is the understanding of God and all that He has in store for us. This protects us from the deceit of the devil who has cheated so many ignorant people, believers, and non-believers alike.
Challenges we may face
In this new walk with God, our appetites could be our greatest adversary. Examples can be seen in Esau who was described in Hebrews 12:16 as profane, easily led by his appetites and ultimately lost his divine inheritance as the firstborn; and Belshazzar who partied with the sacred items of the temple at Jerusalem and ultimately lost his kingdom and life that very night (Daniel 5:2–30). Our appetites are essential in keeping us satisfied and ultimately alive but when not kept in check can be a tool in the hands of the devil for our destruction. This age and time make it even more necessary to guard our appetites and bring them under subjection.