I attended Christian camp every summer from the time I was 9 years old. I loved camp!
Of course, one of my favorite times each day was swim time. We swam in a pond. There was a shallow end and a deep end that was divided by a floating rope. In order to get to swim in the deep end you had to pass the swim test. The swim test involved swimming from the floating rope to the diving board and back. I really did not know how to swim so I got halfway to the diving board, began to sink and tried to turn back to the rope. I was quickly rescued by the lifeguard.
Needless to say I spent the rest of the week practicing and learning how to swim in the shallow end of that pond. I have never wanted to stay in the shallow end, especially when it comes to being a Christian.
5 years after saving me from drowning, the lifeguard at that camp, Bob Morgan, became my Pastor. He and his sweet wife Adele took a group of us to a Youth Conference in Hammond, IN where I surrendered my life to full time Christian service.
I jumped in the deep end and would love to tell you I have never looked back, but the temptations to follow the world, to live like the world are great. The lust of my flesh, the lust of my eyes and the pride of my life have been at times weighty foes for me.
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” John 2:15-17
I must remind myself often of the gospel truth that this world and everything in it will pass away. What I will gain by faithfully following Christ is immensely greater than the counterfeit gains of this passing world.
“For 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.” Mark 8:35
“Lose” from the Greek word “Apollymi” means “to destroy fully.” It is translated “lose” in Mark 8:35, our verse for today.
“For 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” Mark 8:35