Encouragement ExchangeHow could you give encouragement to someone today?
Top Music Videos
Diplomas in the Deep
Everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing
Christ Jesus my Lord (v.8).
In the early 1900s, John went to the US to receive his education. He completed his bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. degrees in just 5 years. But he was troubled by the question: “What do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?” (Matthew 16:26). He ended up enrolling in a theological seminary, only to be confused by professors who had rejected the Bible.
One night, while searching God’s Word for answers, John’s soul was suddenly transformed. But the seminary rejected his conversion experience and had him confined in an asylum! In the 193 days he was there, he read through the Bible 40 times. Upon his release, he returned to China. While on the ship, he threw overboard all of his diplomas and awards—keeping only his doctorate for his father. Sòng Shàng-Jíe (or John Sung) then devoted his life to winning souls among the Chinese throughout Asia.
To the world, John Sung’s actions were inexplicable. But they would have resonated with Paul, another brilliant student. Trained to be an expert in the law by the nation’s foremost legal mind (Acts 22:3), his credentials were unrivaled (Philippians 3:5). But after he met Jesus, his life was radically transformed (Acts 9:1). Instead of becoming a professor, he became “a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of good news” (2 Timothy 2:11) to the Gentiles (Acts 9:15).
Paul “threw away” all of his diplomas and awards. His rationale? “I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless . . . when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage” (Philippians 3:7).
The apostle Paul and John Sung knew with certainty that, as Jim Elliot said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” Do you?
What did Paul mean when he said, “God’s way of making us right with Himself depends on faith”? (Philippians 3:9).
What do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? What will you change to surrender your whole life to Jesus?
- Encouragement Exchange - How could you give encouragement to someone today?...read more
- Raise the Temperature - ...read more
- Always There - Do you believe that the Lord is always with you?...read more
- Seasons of Grief - Are you going through a season of grief where you are struggling to grieve?...read more
- John's Question - What steps can you take to seek God’s perspective in a current challenging situation?...read more
- Victory - What battles are you facing these days?...read more
- Starting Over - Have you experienced a fresh start in Jesus?...read more
- Genuine Love - How have you experienced the reality of God’s love?...read more
- Straight Up - Is there a current situation in your life where you’ve been less than honest?...read more
- He Saw Something - Have you seen something so true that you would be willing to live or die for it?...read more
- Higher Law, Higher Love - What choice of conscience faces you today?...read more
- Stay or Run Away - How might God want you to display His glory in your life?...read more
- Jealousy and Generosity - To help His followers understand what the kingdom of heaven is like and the dangers of comparison obsession, Jesus told a parable about a landowner who hired workers to tend his vineyard....read more
- On the Fringe - Who sits alone at church that you can befriend?...read more
- Taming Anger - Think back to a time when you lashed out in anger, or when someone lashed out at you....read more
- Full of Joy - How can you tap into God’s joy more fully?...read more