6 Statements of Jesus That Don’t Fit With “The Prosperity Gospel” – Mark 8

Reflection from my reading in Mark 8 in the One Year Bible New Testament.

Jesus didn’t promise us a life of ease and riches. The “prosperity gospel” doesn’t generally love passages like this, but they are very important to our faith.

1. Turn From Selfishness

“Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways…” Mark 8:34

It’s not about you! We all are naturally selfish and when we decide to follow Jesus we are deciding to turn from our selfish ways.

Selfish people are often the most lonely, sad and purposeless because living for yourself is such a small thing to live for.

 2. Be Willing To Suffer

“… take up your cross, and follow me.” Mark 8:34

Jesus said this BEFORE he died on the cross. To “take up your  cross” didn’t have the same spiritual significance we see in it. It meant that we must be willing to suffer, even if it means a painful death.

3. Sacrifice For Jesus

“If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it.” Mark 8:35

True life is found when we give up our agenda Jesus. The joy that we receive from serving him far outweighs any earthly rewards.

  4. Sacrifice For the Gospel

“If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it.” Mark 8:35

We are not all called to be missionaries, but we all must make sacrifices for the spreading of the good news. Working together to share our faith with others has been one of the most rewarding things in my life. Mission trips and opportunities I have had to share my faith are the times in my life I’ve felt most alive!

5. Don’t Forfeit Your Soul

“And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?  Is anything worth more than your soul?” Mark 8:36–37

The answer is this: nothing is more valuable than your soul. Unfortunately, many of the most successful people let pride stop them from giving their lives to Jesus. They literally have everything the world has to offer, but in the next life they will lose it all.

6. Don’t Be Ashamed

“If anyone is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” Mark 8:38

This doesn’t mean (as some preachers would have you believe) that if you receive Jesus but don’t stand up in church then it doesn’t count. What it does mean that if you reject Jesus because you are afraid of what others will think, then you will be rejected when Jesus comes back.

If you have decided to follow Jesus, then I  encourage you to be open and unashamed of your commitment. Jesus can use your openness to draw people to himself through your example and testimony.

Give your life to Jesus, it won’t be easy but he will give you the most purposeful life as you follow him.

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