For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?Matthew 16:26(KJV)
A true disciple is one that denies self and lives for Christ, rather than ignoring the commands of the Lord Jesus by living for themselves. A real disciple is one that abides in Christ, takes up his cross, and follows Him, rather than ignoring the way of the Cross and following the way of the world.
A genuine disciple is a man or woman who will forsake the things of this world by losing their life and dying to self, rather than seeking after the things of this world: "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul (his life)." Every disciple is a believer but not all believers choose to take the route of discipleship, by way of the Cross.
Though this passage is often incorrectly applied to the unbeliever, the Lord Jesus was speaking to his disciples and pointing out the two ways that a believer can follow: 1) The carnal way, which is the way of the world where a believer lives for themselves, not understanding that the life we live on earth will dictate our future role in heaven. 2) The spiritual way, which is the way of Christ, understanding that the world is not our home, and only things done in the Spirit will last for eternity.
If our life-work is carried out in the flesh, it will be burned up, which means that the life that we lived for ourselves will be lost. If we build up rewards on earth instead of securing treasures in heaven, and if we delight in the praises of men rather than that of the Lord, we will have nothing to show for the life that we lived.
If our life-work is carried out in the Spirit, denying self and living for Christ, when our works are tried in the fire they will come out as gold and silver and precious stones. The life lived in spirit and truth may not gain the wealth and praise of the world, but will result in a share in heavenly rewards.
Two little lines I heard one day,
Travelling along life's busy way;
Bringing conviction to my heart,
And from my mind would not depart;
Only one life, 'twill soon be past,
Only what's done for Christ will last.
Dear Lord, there is nothing in this world that I can accumulate to exchange for my own soul. The price is too high for me to pay. But Lord, You paid the price for my soul with Your shed blood upon the Cross. The free gift of the salvation of my soul cost You so dearly. Help me to understand how precious I am to You. Help me to live a life that is pleasing to You, a life that seeks Your will not mine. In Jesus' name, AMEN.