God has infinite power without limit above all other powers.

17 Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:

NOTHING TOO HARD FOR THEE: Thou hast made the heaven and the earth by great power and stretched out arm. Jeremiah adores God and gives Him the glory due to His name as Creator.

After Jeremiah bought the field, he began to wonder if such a. move was wise. He sought relief in prayer from his nagging doubts. In this prayer, Jeremiah affirmed that God is the Creator of heaven and earth, for whom nothing is too difficult; the wise Judge, who is aware of all the ways of people; and our Redeemer, who has great power.

18 Thou shewest lovingkindness unto thousands, and recompensest the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them: the Great, the Mighty God, the Lord of hosts, is his name, Jeremiah 32:17-18

SHEWEST LOVINGKINDNESS: He is a God of boundless mercy: “Thou not only art kind, but thou showest lovingkindness, not to few, to here and there one, but to thousands of persons, thousands of generations.” He is a God of imartial and inflexible justice. He is a God of universal dominion and command. He is the great God, for He is the mighty God. He is the Lord of hosts, that is His name. That He contrives everything for the best: He is great in counsel, so deep are the design of His wisdom.

God loves us and sees our situations. Whenever we doubt God’s wisdom or wonder if it is practical to obey Him, we can review what we already know about Him. Such thoughts and prayers will quiet our doubts and calm our fears.

26 Then came the word of the Lord unto Jeremiah, saying,

27 Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me? Jeremiah 32:26-27

I AM THE LORD: God’s answer to Jeremiah’s prayer to quiet his mind. It is a full discovery of the purposes of God’s wrath against the present generation and the purposes of His grace concerning the future generations. Jeremiah knew not how to sing both of mercy and judgment, but God here teaches to sing unto Him of both. When Jeremiah was ordered to buy the field in Anathoth he hoped that God was about to order the Chaldeans to raise the siege. “No,” says God, “The execution of the sentence shall go on; Jerusalem shall be laid in ruins.” In this word of the Lord to Jeremiah, we have first as dreadful threatenings and then as precious promises as perhaps any we have in the Old Testament. The ruin of Judah and Jerusalem is here pronounced. God here asserts His own sovereignty and power. He abides by what He had often said of the destruction of Jerusalem by the king of Babylon.

We may feel that what God asks us to do is too difficult Jesus said we must deny our selfish ways, take up our cross, and follow Him.

34 And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

DENY HIMSELF: Live a life of self-denial and contempt of the world; renounce all confidence in himself and his own righteousness and strength.

TAKE UP HIS CROSS: Conforming to the pattern of a crucified Jesus.

FOLLOW ME: Those that will be Christ’s must attend on Him, converse with Him, receive instruction and reproof from Him, and must resolve they will never forsake Him.

The Romans, Mark’s original audience, knew what taking up a cross meant. Death on a cross was a form of execution used by Rome for dangerous criminals. Prisoners wold carry their own crosses to the place of execution, signifying submission to Rome’s power.

Jesus used the image of carrying a cross to illustrate the ultimate submission required of his followers. He is not against pleasure, nor was he saying that we should seek pain needlessly. Jesus was talking about the heroic effort needed to follow him moment by moment, to do his will even when the work is difficult and no immediate rewards are in sight.

Jesus did not teach self-deinal as an end in itself. He does not desire us to be miserable for misery’s own sake. We deny the aspects of the self that lead to death– selfishness, cruelty, and indifference– in order to experience life and bring true life and hope to others. Taking up your cross will require sacrifice and possibly pain, but it will lead to life with a new level of appreciation for Jesus and service to others.

35 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.

LOSE HIS LIFE… WILL SAVE IT: Whosoever will save his life by declining Christ and refusing to come to Him, or by disowning and denying Him after he has come to Christ, shall lose the comfort of his natural life, the root and fountain of his spiritual life, and all his hopes of eternal life. Such a bad bargain will he make for himself! But whosoever shall lose his life shall venture it; shall lay it down when he cannot keep it without denying Christ. He shall save it, he shall be an unspeakable gainer; for the loss of his life shall made up to him in a better life.

We should be willing to lose our lives for the sake of the gospel, not because our lives are useless, but because nothing– not even life itself– can compare to what we gain when we follow Jesus. Jesus wants us to choose to follow him rather than to lead lives of sin and self- satisfaction. He wants us to stop trying to control our own destinies and to let him direct us. This makes good sense because as the Creator, Jesus knows better than we do what real life is about. He asks for submission, not self-hatred; he asks us only to lose our self-centered determination to be in charge.

36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

Many people spend all their energy seeking pleasure. Jesus said, however, that worldliness– which is centered on possessions, position, or power– is ultimately worthless.

37 Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Mark 8:34-37

EXCHANGE FOR HIS SOUL: As the happiness of heaven with Christ is enough to [make up for] the loss of life itself for Christ, so the gain of all the world in sin is not sufficient to [make up for] the ruin of the soul by sin.

WHOSOEVER… ASHAMED OF ME: There are many who are ashamed of their relation to Christ; they cannot bear to be frowned upon and despised, and therefore throw off their profession and go down the stream of prevailing apostasy. Those that are ashamed of Christ in this world where He is despised, He will be ashamed of in that world where He is eternally adored. They shall not share with Him in His glory then, that were not willing to share with Him in His disgrace now.

Whatever you have on earth is only temporary; it cannot be exchanged for your soul. If you work hard at getting what you want, it might seem like you have a satisfying life, but eventually you will find that it is hollow and empty.

Are you willing to make the pursuit of God more important than the pursuit of pleasure for pleasure’s sake? Follow Jesus, and you will know what it means to live abundantly now and ultimately to have eternal life.

But he goes with us, help us, and rewards us. This may seem difficult, but nothing is too hard with God’s love and power enabling us.