Certainly there must be more to life than the pursuit of material wealth and the supposed happiness it brings. Certainly there must be a greater purpose in living than to accumulate things and then worrying about losing them. Certainly there must be something to warrant our existence in this life more compelling than pleasing ourselves even at the expense of others. Certainly there must be something missing when the sum and total of living is reflected in bank accounts, degrees on the wall, number of children and grandchildren and how many friends one accumulates through social media.
The shallow existence most people call life is nothing more than a pretty flower in the field that is here today and gone tomorrow. People come into this world with nothing and they leave this world with nothing. In between, they either devote themselves to getting or they commit themselves to giving. They either work hard to attain a certain level of status or willingly throw it all away in order to give their lives completely to God.
Please look at what Jesus told his disciples in Luke 9:23-25 in the ASV:
23And he said unto all, If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
24For whosoever would save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.
25For what is a man profited, if he gain the whole world, and lose or forfeit his own self?
To honestly and completely follow Jesus, self-denial, complete dedication and willing obedience are absolutely required. These things are not a onetime decision but rather must be done DAILY. The element of self-sacrifice and dedication is a continuous action in our lives and not something done only at the moment of salvation. No other saying of Jesus is given as much emphasis as verse 24. Over and over again in the Gospels, Jesus stated that whoever seeks to save his life will lose it but whoever loses his life for His sake will save it. Absolute devotion to Jesus demands a daily decision to abandon this world and willingly follow Jesus through self-denial and complete dedication to Him.
Contrary to what many Christians believe, it is not possible to have this world and Jesus at the same time. No man can serve two masters and anyone who is unwilling to sacrifice this world's glory at the foot of the cross is in reality serving this world. Self-denial, complete dedication and willing obedience demand commitment, loyalty and submission to Christ. Unless Jesus Christ is the center of our lives and our very reason for living, this world will inevitably succeed in distracting and in turn destroying our full devotion to our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ.