Friday, November 18, 2011

Giving Up to Gain More! (Mark 10:28-31)

Mark 10:28-31 Peter said to him, "We have left everything to follow you!" "I tell you the truth," Jesus replied, "no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields — and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first." 

Earlier in this chapter, we read about a rich young man who came to Jesus to ask, "what must I do to inherit ETERNAL LIFE?" (Mark 10:17). When Jesus mentioned six of the Ten Commandments, the young man said he kept them all from childhood. But then Jesus said: "One thing you lack. Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven" (Mark 10:21). When the young man heard that, his face fell and he went away because he had great wealth.

If this young man would have stayed on a little longer, he would have heard how Jesus responded to Peter's declaration that "We have left everything to follow you!" Jesus' reply to Peter was: "I tell you the truth, no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields--and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, ETERNAL LIFE."  In short, giving up EVERYTHING to follow Christ is not LOSS but GAIN--not only in the age to come but right now here in this life: "a hundred times as much in this present age." It reminds me what Jim Elliot wrote: "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." The "gain" that Jim Elliot was thinking of is what happens after we die. But Jesus' promise of gain is what happens BEFORE we die - "in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields)".

So you can have the cake and eat it too! The young man was mistaken - he thought it was a win-lose situation Jesus presented him. In fact, Jesus presented the young man an offer he could not lose - winning in this present life and in the life to come! Hallelujah!

Thank You Father that giving up everything for You and Your Gospel is not LOSS but GAIN--not just spiritually but emotionally and materially. Amen.

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