Listen to this devotional:
Mark 10:17 – As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. "Good teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" (NIV)
It's a question that we all ask at some time in our lives: "How can I beat death and obtain everlasting life?"
When I was eighteen, I overdosed on tranquilizers and almost died. I was saved by three friends, to whom I will ever be indebted. I spent three days in hospital to get my stomach cleaned out and to check if my organs were still working. What I didn't realize through my act of stupidity was that I could have permanently damaged my kidneys and other vital organs, which would have meant that I would have unavoidably died days later. Thankfully, and providentially, that did not happen. My life had been spared by the quick action of my friends.
Through being so close to death, it made me think about Life. I was unsaved at the time, so if I had died, I would have been separated from God forever. I did not know that at the time, because I held a kindergarten belief of God in my heart. But when I turned to the Scriptures to learn more about God, He startled me with the forthright views of Christ.
I no longer dabble with death or take my life for granted. It's given me a different perspective from most people. Life is something to be cherished, but it is also a gift of God that shouldn't be squandered. The purpose of life is to give it back to God. Everything that we accomplish, all of our achievements, and every resource that we own, are nothing compared to the riches of God's grace and His everlasting love. That's why Jesus asks the young man to give up his wealth and esteem — for when he is old and dying, he is going to have to give them up anyway.
Health and wealth won't last forever, but faith and love do. If we want life — real, abundant, and everlasting life — then we need to surrender ourselves to God through Jesus Christ. There just isn't any other way.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, each day You challenge us to give up our lives and place them in Your hands. In other words, You're asking us to have faith in You by surrendering ourselves to Your church and kingdom. Help us to do this willingly and to realize at last that our lives are gifts from God, which we must eventually give back to Him. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.