Guys guys guys.
So I am doing morning devotion and part of it is focused on Mark 10: 28-31. For the full context, read Mark 10:17-31. This is the story of the rich young man who comes to Jesus asking Him what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus asks him to follow the commandments and the man states that he has been doing this since he was a boy. The Bible then goes on to state:
Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.Then come, follow me.”
At this, the young man becomes sad and walks away because, well, dude was ballin’. It is like having MTV crib level houses, cars and money and Jesus telling you to give that up. It is hard people. It is one thing to give out of your excess. It is another thing to give up what you have. Even Jesus acknowledges this when He states that it is hard for the rich to enter God’s kingdom. However, while hard, with God nothing is impossible (Mark 10: 23-26).
The disciples begin to worry about the feasibility of salvation if the rich will have a hard time getting in and our dear friend Peter goes on to exclaim “We have left everything to follow you!” And this is where the beauty comes in. Jesus responds to Peter by saying:
Truly I tell you,” 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—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life.
A few things to learn from this:
1) We can have expectant hope now. We do not need to wait till heaven
When we give up something for Jesus’ sake (because God said so and we honor Him by letting it go or because it goes contrary to what is written in His word, etc.), He does not just store up a treasure for us in heaven. He gives us a treasure NOW- in this present age. He multiplies what we gave up and gives it to us. Whatever you lose for His sake will be restored to you a hundred fold. Isn’t that awesome? It is what He did for Job in Job 42:10-16 and He has said He will do it for us too. It is such a contradiction to my “woe is me, I’ll wait until heaven” mentality. I can expect recompense NOW – while I am alive on this earth. I may even pull a Jacob and refuse to let God go till He blesses me with that hundred fold (Genesis 32:22-32).
2) God asks us to give things up because He loves us and wants to give us more. We need to trust Him
Now let us go back to Mark 10:21 where the Bible states that Jesus loved the young man and so told him to give up his wealth. Jesus does not say “ Give up your wealth and I will give it back to you a hundred fold in this present age.” He just says “Give up your wealth to store up treasure in heaven” and He does this because He loved him. Isn’t this so like God? Experiential knowledge of Him shows that He rarely, if ever, gives the full blueprint. He tells you to do something and He expects you to trust Him enough to yield and believe that it will all be for your good because you know who He is. This reminds me a bit of the lesson in the blog post on trust and rewards. When God tells us to give things up, He is not doing it to deprive us. He does it because He loves us and wants to give us exceedingly and abundantly above anything we can ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20-21). He asks us to give up stuff so He can give us more – in this present age and in the coming one.
3) Jesus be real y’alls – there will be persecutions. Hallelujah
One thing I love about Jesus is His complete honesty. He calls folks children of Satan to their faces (John 8:42-45). He tells us point blank that we will have trouble in this world (John 16:33), etc. You just have to tip your hat to the man. He is the definition of realness. Anyways, in this particular passage, Jesus tells us, “Yes, boo. You will have the cars and houses back a hundred fold but….it also comes with a helping of persecution (Mark 10:29-30).” Sours the offer a bit right? But here is the promise:
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
And Jesus reiterates this when He lets us know that we do not only get back a hundred fold of what we give up in this age, we also get eternal life in the coming age (Mark 10:29-30). This may be because these persecutions are light and momentary troubles that are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all (2 Corinthians 4:17)
So chin up guys. While it may look like God is asking us to give up too much, He also intends to give back more than He asked us to give up in this world and the next. We can have expectant hope 🙂
Stay blessed folks!