“Have you ever been to that burger place out on West Fort Street?” I asked Stan.
“Bob’s Big Burgers?”
“Yeah, that’s it. You been there?”
“It’s one of my favorites, but I’ve never had the really big one. It’s 24 ounces and if a person can eat the whole thing it’s free.”
Continuing, he said, “One of my neighbors told me he did that, but it didn’t turn out so great.”
“He said the burger really tasted good, and he ate the whole thing, but later he didn’t feel so good. Kind of sick to his stomach.”
“Hardly surprising,” I replied. “That’s a lot of food if a person eats the whole thing.”
“Getting sick from eating the whole thing,” Stan said, “reminds me of something Jesus said in Matthew’s gospel.”
“Don’t tell me He was talking about eating hamburgers,” I replied.
“No, He wasn’t,” Stan said, “but something similar.”
“In what way?” I asked.
“Jesus put it in terms of people gaining the whole world, but losing their souls. I think Jesus was saying, in essence, ‘What’s the point of that?’”
“It would be fair to ask what’s the point of eating one of Bob’s really big burgers if I’m only going to get sick. Why would a person want to ‘consume’ the whole world, lose their soul, and be sick for eternity?”
“Not much of a bargain, even if it’s free!”
Bible verses to consider:
For what will a man be profited, if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? Matthew 16:26.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for your provision of life eternally with you when it’s time so I don’t have to suffer the sickness of being separated from you for eternity. Thank you, too, for the truth that nothing on this side of eternity is worth gaining if it means I am separated from you. Please help me to focus only on what you have for me so I am continually drawn closer to you in an ever-deepening personal relationship. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: All of us can and do get sick from consuming too much. Can you imagine what it would be like to suffer the sickness of being separated from God for eternity? If you don’t have the assurance that you are free from that danger, do you know how to accept the free and gracious gift of eternal salvation? Even with the assurance of salvation, there’s always the temptation to consume what the world has to offer. While that doesn’t affect our eternal destination, it certainly can affect our lives and testimonies on this side of eternity. How are you doing with that?