The Game of Life
Living a life of service to others
Game of Life, Monopoly, or a similar board game
For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Mark 8:35-36 (NIV)
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Do you like to play board games? Some of the most popular board games are Checkers, Chess, Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, and Clue just to name a few. One of the most popular board games of all time is called "The Game of Life." It was first introduced in 1860. Wow! That's more than 150 years ago!
The "Game of Life" is played very much like real life. At the beginning of the game, each player must choose what path he or she is going to take in their journey through life. They choose whether they are going to go to college or go out and get a job. As the game goes on, each player spins the wheel and moves his car the number of spaces on which the spinner stops. The space where your car lands gives you directions on what to do. On some spaces, you MUST follow the directions. On other spaces you only have to follow the directions if you want to. Just as in real life, you have many choices along the way, but what happens to you in the "Game of Life" depends on the choices you make. At the end of the game, the player with the most money wins. Is that true in real life? Do you think that when life is over, the one with the most money wins? Today we will see what Jesus had to say about that.
In our Bible reading today, Jesus was teaching his followers about life. He said to them, "If you want to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Gospel, you will save it. After all, what good is it if you gain the whole world, but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your own soul?"
Some people live as if the most important thing in life is getting more stuff—big houses, fancy cars, and pretty clothes. Others live as if the most important thing in life is following Jesus and serving him. How do they do that? By loving other people and doing good things for them. When Jesus lived on earth, everything he did was for others. If we follow his example, he promised that we will be the winners in "The Game of Life."
How about you? Do you want to be a winner in the "Game of Life?" Then stop thinking about yourself and start thinking about others.
Dear Father, we want to follow the example that Jesus set. We want to give up our selfish ways and give our lives in love and service to others. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.