Worldly Gains

Read Mark 8:34–38

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.


What are some things you need to surrender in order to truly follow Jesus Christ?

What will you give up today?


Father, help me to set aside worldly gains and follow Christ.

About the author

As an 18-year-old who was constantly on her phone, Jasmine Goh’s life changed when God reached out to her through a text message. Since then, she is of the opinion that God is way more tech-savvy than He lets on. After 8 years in the media industry, Jasmine now writes and edits for Our Daily Bread Ministries.

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