What Reward

“I tell you the truth,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father of 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.  Mark 10:29:30 (NIV)

There we have it!  We´ve got our promise!  We can have our blessings!

Jesus said it so it must be true, right?  We can have our loved ones AND our things, can´t we?  Or is that what our Savior is saying?  Should we grab ahold of the promise and look forward to the reward?  Or wait!  Was there something before that?

Who is our Lord talking to?  Is He talking to all of us Christians?  Is He talking about all of us who have professed belief in Him?  Is He speaking of all those who have made a commitment and deviated their lives?  Are we the ones, those who attend services or turn to the Bible instead of chasing our desires with the rest of humanity?

Or could we say that Jesus was referring to someone else?  Considering the words He spoke what were the conditions?  Was He referring to people who had?  Or was He referring to someone who had lost?  How can Jesus promise ring true for us if we do not read the complete promise?  Shouldn´t we consider first the losing to receive the promised reward?

Many of us have made an adjustment in our lives so that we can call ourselves followers of Christ.  But are we true followers?  What have we really left?  Have we actually needed to separate ourselves from our children?  Did we lose a parent because of our faith in the Lord?  Did we sell off our belongings so that we could step where Jesus walks?  By coming close to Him did we have to leave our homes?

Surely there are some who have.  But for the great majority of us, did our lives just become a little cleaner?  Did we find a purer line of enjoyment?  Were we able to keep all our old things and jump strait to the reward of more refined friends and goals?  How much suffering and sacrifice did we really struggle through?  Did we merely lose the less wanted and lower quality parts of our lives?  Was it not a pleasure to lose those filthy rags anyway?  Or did we need to let go of something that we truly loved?  Did we need to beseech the Lord to find strength to separate ourselves from some essential part of our lives?  What sacrifice did we truly offer up to God?

Perhaps in the depths of grace and mercy of God we may never actually have to suffer the loss of anything extremely dear to us.  But could we say that the separation needs to be done at least within our hearts?  Abraham needed to struggle to gain the consent of His own heart to give his boy up as a sacrifice to God. He suffered deeply as he wrestled with his own will.  But in the end, he did bow to the will of God.  He did find separation from the unsanctified love he felt for his child.  God the Father had to suffer the loss of His Son too.  Should we think we should be spared?

Dear Jesus, as we step in to follow You we find this prerequisite.  We must sacrifice what we love.  You said it.  Your Father testifies to Your words.  We would listen.  Please assist our hearts.  Without Your assistance we will never be able to get our hearts consent.  We will never let go of those things and make You more important.  But with Your help we may receive the blessed reward.  In Your strength and guidance we can let go of it all.  Please help us set our hearts upon You today.  Let us make being close to You our goal.  Help us sacrifice anything we must, to be found within Your will.  Then may we find our reward in You!

Amen

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