What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? —Mark 8:36
In 1920, a young man from China named John Sung went to study at an American university. In just five years, he graduated with the highest honours, completed a Masters programme, and earned a PhD. John was offered high-paying jobs, but turned them down because God had called him to a different task—to preach the good news that Jesus saves sinners and offers eternal life to all who believe in Him.
On his way back to China, John threw all his medals and awards into the sea, keeping only his PhD certificate so that he could give it to his father as a sign of honouring him.
This may seem extreme, but John felt it was necessary. He understood what Jesus had said about becoming His disciples: “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” (Mark 8:36). Jesus was saying that following Him may mean sacrificing worldly gains. When we commit to our God-given mission, we may not get earthly rewards, but we can be assured of eternal life. John carried out his God-given mission wholeheartedly, preaching the gospel throughout China and Southeast Asia, and bringing the good news of Jesus to millions of people.
How about us? Could God be calling us to step away from worldly gains and pursue the mission He wants us to carry out? Let’s examine our lives just as John Sung did.