Living Profitably

Profit - spiritual and eternal profit - has to do with what God is doing in your life. His own soul, start there.

Scripture: Mark 8:35-38


Alright thank you very much, and hello again dear radio friends. How in the world are you? Yes, that greeting establishes the fact that this is indeed your friend Dr. Cook and I’m glad to be back with you. I look forward to these times when I can share from the Word of God, like a worker looks forward to vacation or a missionary looks forward to furlough. I just relax and it feels so great when I can when I can share the Word of God. Thank you for being there and for making it possible for me to speak with you about God’s blessed, holy, inerrant, infallible, inspired Word, the Bible.

You and I looking at the gospel of Mark we got into the section of Mark 8:35 through 38, the last time we got together we just sort of walked around in that a bit and we’ll keep on that today, if it’s all right with you. “Whosoever will save his life shall lose it, but whosoever shall lose his life, for My sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it”, that has to do with your goals in life. “What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul or once having lost it, what shall he give in exchange for his soul?”, that has to do with your value systems in life. “Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of Me”, Jesus said, ‘and of my words, in this adulterous and sinful generation, how much of him also shall the Son of Man be ashamed, when He cometh in the glory of His father with the holy angels”. That has to do with your loyalties in life. “Whosoever will save his life”, that has to do with your goals.

What are your ultimate goals? You can tell what your goals are by asking, what really upsets me and what really delights me? You can find what you’re living for if you just stand off from your situation for a moment and ask the question, what is it that, when it goes right, I’m really delighted and when it goes wrong, I am really upset? You and I need to know that our goals are rooted in eternity. Paul the apostle said, “For to me, to live is Christ. According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I should be ashamed, but that with all boldness is also now also Christ, shall be magnified in my body, for to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain”. His goal was to embody the very life of Christ, day after day in his ministry. Another of his goals was to preach the gospel where Christ wasn’t named He said, “I’ve endeavored to preach where Christ wasn’t named”. Another his goals was to minister to his own kinsman after the flesh, members of God’s chosen people. He said, “I’ve continual heaviness and sorrow in my heart, for my kinsman after the flesh”, he said, “I could wish that myself were accursed from God that they might be saved”, you find that the passage there in Romans.

So, the goals of Paul’s life had to do with his relationship with the Lord Jesus, “Oh, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, the fellowship of His sufferings being made conformable unto His death”. I want to know His power, I want to know His compassion, and I want to be like Him.

Then he said, “I want to preach the gospel where Christ is not named”. He wanted everybody to know that the Lord Jesus is Lord and Savior. He said, “I’m debtor both to the Jews and the Greeks”, he said, “I have a debt to pay and I’m trying to pay it”. These were his life goals, having to do with relationship with God, his relationship with the unsaved, and then of course his relationship with the believers, whom he had encouraged and churches that he had helped to start.

And so he prayed for them, that they might be filled with the knowledge of God’s Will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, they might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing being fruitful in every good work, strengthened with might and power and so on. His goals then, had to do with his relationship to the Lord, his relationship to the lost, and his relationship to the church.

Now what do you think your goals are? Have you thought about that since we talked about it the last time we got together? What are you really living for, beloved? I can’t tell you. I can’t begin to tell you, but you know, if you’ll’ just stop stop and think a moment, what is it that drives your life? I know that is not possible to be religious all the time, and someone says, “Well Brother Cook, it’s all right for you to talk about these things but we live in a workaday world, and I have to get up and go to work, and I have a million things to do, and I’ve got the boss breathing down my neck, the corporation is on the edge of a merger, and I may be shuffled out when the shuffle begins, and I really have to think about these things”. I know you do beloved, I know you do. I’m busy too. I’m reasonably busy many times, but being busy is not what I’m talking about. It’s not what you’re doing, it’s what you getting done that counts, someone said to me years ago, and it’s what drives your life. What is it that drives you? What is it that makes you tick? What is it that you can say? I’m living for this’?

I said to my students at the college, during the years I was President there, make a list of the things for which you would be willing to be shot dead at 5 o’clock tomorrow morning. Well, that would be a very short list and it gets shorter the more you think about it, I suppose. When you finish that list, then you have something for which to live, as well as to die. Find out what it is that drives your life, and you’ll have an idea than of the goals. “Whosoever shall save his life shall lose it’. If you’re grabbing for yourself, you’ll lose it and leave it all behind, “but whosoever shall lose his life”, and I use the idea of invest there, invest your life for the Lord Jesus Christ. That’s the idea I think that we want to convey. Whosoever will invest his life for the Lord Jesus Christ, is going to keep it, unto life everlasting. You want to think about that for yourself?

Oh I pray that it may be for you, a time of great revelation, as you think about what you’re living for, and as you turn over in your own heart and mind, the various options that you have, and then as you perhaps rearrange those priorities, and say, ‘I want to live for God, I want to live for eternity, I want to live for my blessed, wonderful, living Lord’, your goals in life. Think about it.

Now then, not only that but your values. He says, “What shall it profit a man? What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul”, or once having lost it? I’ve been interjecting those words there, as it makes sense, or “once having lost it, what shall a man give in exchange for his soul”? Now, values. It’s one thing to know that there are things in the world that are good and nice and enjoyable and desirable. It’s another thing to let your life be determined by things.

I think so often of a brother whom we were kidding many years ago in the Youth for Christ days, when I was President of Youth for Christ. Our office was in in Wheaton, on North Cross Street. This for the showed up one day with a new Chevrolet, it was the cheapest, stripped model that he can get. It didn’t have a radio, didn’t have air conditioning, and it was stripped as we say, it was the basic Chevy, but he had somehow gotten enough money together, borrowed from his father-in-law or whatever, and he’d gotten this car. Well we gave him a hard time. We said, “Oh boy, look at this guy, coming around with a brand-new car. Here you are in the Lord’s work and you got a brand-new car, and it has gone be pretty difficult for you now, you know”. We gave him a bad time and when we stopped he looked and he said this to me I remember, because I guess I had been one of the ringleaders in teasing him. I’ve got a streak of mischief in me, I’m afraid, but he turned to me and he said, “Well’, he said, “I guess it all depends upon whether you have things or the things have you”, and he walked away. I’ll tell you, that said it all, didn’t it? It all depends upon whether you have things or whether things have you.

“What shall it profit”? Now you see, God is the God of the bottom line. God is the God who thinks in terms of profit and loss. Profit is not a dirty word. The Bible is full of it and God expects you to make, this may shake you up a little but if it does, let it, God expects you to make a profit on your life. Your life is a God-given enterprise, a God-given business, if you will, upon which God expects you to make a profit. It’s not just a matter of living through the days, one after another, trying to keep out of trouble, trying to be reasonably successful, trying to get a few dollars together for a nest egg and make it respectably to Social Security, and ultimately the undertaker. That isn’t what God has in mind for you. God expects you to make a profit on your life. Where life is lived for benefit to you, to others, and glory to God. “What shall it profit a man”? Now where is the area of profit? All you have to do is look at the verses. They tell you just what’s in there. We’ll tell you. Where is the area of profit? Is it in the things of the world? Things, the whole world, a house, a job, money, securities, influence, popularity, friendships, pleasures, sports, recreation, leisure, travel, good health, you name it, the things in the world. No, Jesus said that isn’t in the area of profit. That isn’t the area of profit. That maybe area of pleasure. That may be the area of power. That may be the area of various types of procedures, but it is not the area of profit. You can get all of that still be spiritually penniless. Isn’t that an awesome concept? “What shall it profit?”, it says, “if he gain the whole world?”, where is the area of profit inside, in your own spirit? The kingdom of God is the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Whether I live or die, whether I’m healed or sick, whether I’m prosperous or not, whether I am outside the fiery furnace or in it with the fourth man walking around with me, the kingdom, the doctrine of God’s kingdom, is the Jesus Christ is Lord of my life and I’m going to live for Him.

Profit, spiritual and eternal profit, has to do with what God is doing in your life, His own soul, start there. All the things and the money to buy them, can’t help you to declare a profit, beloved. It’s what God is doing inside, in your soul.

Dear Father today, may we start the process of declaring a profit in our own souls with Thee, Amen.

Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!

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