A BAD BARGAIN           

   “. . . what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?. . .”

                                                                                               Matthew 16:26 (NKJV)

     There is a story in my family about my great grandparents leaving Summerville, Georgia, heading for Arkansas. The story goes that my great grandpa had purchased land in Arkansas based on a friend’s description, who was a broker selling property to investors with a traveling spirit. Upon arriving in Arkansas, the property was not even remotely as described. On a return trip to Georgia to bring more belongings, the broker was sought out to question. Upon finding him, it is said, that my great grandma said to my great grandpa, “Pa, if you hold him, I will beat him!” The story continues that they made an amicable settlement.

     Unfortunately we frequently do not recognize a bad bargain until it is too late. Usually a lesson is derived from such experiences, and we become more wary in the future. It would be tragic beyond words to express for one to stand at the very portals of eternity and find at that crisis moment that their whole life had been a “bad bargain”— that of all the decisions and investments we had made — that the decision we had made concerning eternity was the wrong decision. Jesus was referring to this ultimate “bad bargain” when He challenged the Jews with this soul searching question, “What profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” The stores told by the ancestors of the Jews in Jesus’ day on earth was etched into their memory by stories told over and over of life under Alexander the Great. They knew what Jesus was referring to, of how Alexander had sat on the shores of the Euphrates River and wept because there were no more worlds to conquer! Yes, what indeed, did he profit, as he was swept away by the army of the mighty Roman Empire who now ruled Israel! 

     Perhaps at no time in past history has the world been so full of potentially “bad bargains” as now. Ours is an age of materialism; in fact ours is the “gadget” age. You can go into just a small store or stop in front of a single display cabinet in Wal-Mart, and the gadgets are mind-boggling. Things once considered luxury are now “necessities”. Such a challenge to keep our sense of values straight!

     But how about you and me? What do we consider our highest gain in life? Material possessions? Status? Popularity?  Financial investments? There is nothing wrong with these things in themselves. However, ultimately they will all prove to be bad bargains if we have not above all else invested in the highest good.

     When an automotive manufacturer builds and sends out into the public cars of transportation, they take measures that each car functions in every way as it should, to the happiness and satisfaction of  the ultimate buyer and user. Autos that do not, are recalled for repairs or replacement. In like manner, God created the human species to serve and honor Him. Humans are not turned loose upon planet Earth to simply go about doing as they wish and what ever they wish with no regard to the rules and guide-lines their Maker put into place. We find this in Ecclesiastes 12:13 (NKJV),


        "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His

                       commandments: for this is the whole duty of man"

     There is no higher good in all the world than to have Jesus Christ in our heart as our personal Savior and Lord, and to share Him with our neighbors. How eloquently the poet puts it:

                         What is the world to me With all its vaunted pleasure

                         When Thou and Thou alone, Lord Jesus, art my Treasure;

                         Thou only, dearest Lord, My soul’s delight shall be;

                         Thou art my Peace, my Rest — What is the world to me!

                                                                               >AUTHOR UNKNOWN<


     Just A Thought Across The Garden Gate by Parson Don.  



Updated Sept 4, 2018   (Revised after losing the original copy).

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