What Would You Give Up?

…what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

Matthew 16:26b, NKJV

What are we willing to give for our soul? What does a soul cost? What did it cost God? The price of something, contrary to popular belief, is not equal to its value but is equal to the value placed upon it by the purchaser. My house is only worth what someone will pay for it, not how much I want to sell it for.

God places our souls at a high value. He purchased our soul, not from us, but from, as it were, in slavery. We were wholly owned by another. We sold our soul to the selfish way, to the pride and foolishness for the purchase price of that for which gains us nothing. Have you ever desired something so great, then when you finally received it, the shine dimmed? You were no longer enamored by it. In fact, many have garages that are littered with things that we HAD to have. We paid high prices for each because they had value to us, but in the end, the thing was not as valuable to life as we supposed.

Have you ever made the foolish deal and traded something that had great value for something that had little or even became worthless with time? When I was a much younger man, I did. I had a very nice 12 string acoustic guitar and an electric, with an amp and traded it at a pawn shop for a drum set that was worth half the price, which I later had to sell to pay some bills. I wondered at the time why the owner of the shop was so eager to make the deal. The pawnshop is both the greatest ally and fiercest enemy of the musician. When we need money, they provide it, but, like the devil, when we want it back there is a much higher cost.

Reminds me of the proverb…

It is good for nothing,” cries the buyer; But when he has gone his way, then he boasts.

Proverbs 20:14, NKJV

In Jeremiah 2:11-13, the accusation by the Holy One is that Israel has made a deal with the pawnshop—in my vernacular. They traded that which is priceless for that which is worthless. How? Because it looked shiny. We always want the shiny and reject the consistent. We have everything and we become bored with it. Oh, that we would see the value of our relationship with God and never underestimate our worth to Him.

May we repent of that which causes the behavior to flourish. Foolishness and pride are the roots that must be removed. Although it is difficult to do so, ultimately, if we are to be fruitful, even if an exhausting and punishing task, the result will be worth every bead of sweat.


May the LORD richly bless you. Have you sinned a sin of which you believe God will never forgive? Rest assured that you will find the blood of Jesus a great cleanser indeed. There may be consequences to your actions, but His grace will change you from the inside out. Ask him for his forgiveness and for Him to shine his light in your darkness to find the recesses and corners that might be cleansed. Follow Him all the days of your life and you will see, over time, a transformation of mercy and a walk of grace. For prayer, please email me or leave a comment.


Our Days Are Numbered

Steve Marquez
July 1, 2015

“So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”

Psalm 90:12

Wisdom is knowing our limitations. I remember a few years ago that I played basketball with some young men at Calvary Chapel Bartlett. After a few minutes, I was completely exhausted. I had to step out of the game and let a younger man take my place. When I sat down next to another man my age, I told him, breathing heavy, sweat pouring down my face, and every muscle in my body aching, that I was exhausted. Staring straight forward and shaking his head, he said,

“A man’s got to know his limitations.”

How true that was and is. There is wisdom in knowing limitations. We can thrive when we know them; we can kill ourselves when we don’t.

There is a limited amount of time to accomplish what God wants to accomplish in and through us. It is as if the clock is ticking and we are on Jeopardy. If we wait long enough, the buzzer goes off and we lose the opportunity. For some, the buzzer of life will sound sooner than they thought. I have read countless obituaries where a young man or a young woman had been driving too fast, flipped their car, and died on the spot. I am sure when they left the house that day, they said goodbye to their parents, and didn’t realize it would be their last goodbye.

The wisdom in numbering our days is realizing that no matter how long we have, it is a short time. Even if we live seventy or eighty years it’s a short time. When I was first diagnosed with cancer and went through surgery after surgery, I realized how fragile life was. A doctor could tell someone that they only have a month to live, but they could step off a curb the next day, get hit by a car, and die. The doctor was wrong, they only had one day to live.

Wisdom is learned by understanding the fragility of life. We have a short time. What are we going to do with what we have? Paul said,

“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”

Ephesians 5:15-17

What should we do with the time that we have? We should focus on what is important. Being diagnosed with a life-threatening illness puts things into perspective. When the doctor says, “Cancer” things change. At that point, life is not so much about stuff as about people. The spiritual world becomes more important; the physical goes away. Family and friends become much more important.

We’ve all been given the same diagnosis. We each have a disease that will eventually kill us. It’s called sin. There is a treatment for it, but eventually, it will get us. On that day when we take our final breath, we will not be concerned about how much money we made or about the accumulation of stuff.

For me, my thoughts went to what kind of husband I had been. What kind of dad? Did I impart enough wisdom to my boys? Did I show them enough discipline to develop their character? Did I point them to Jesus? What did I do to influence them for the kingdom of God?

As an exercise, today I will diagnose you with a deadly disease. I don’t know how many days you have left, but they are numbered. Write down what you’d like your legacy to be… and, with wisdom gained, live it while you still have the chance to do so.