MARK 10:29-31: “Jesus said, “I can guarantee this truth: Anyone who gave up his home, brothers, sisters, mother, father, children, or fields because of me and the Good News will certainly receive a hundred times as much here in this life. They will certainly receive homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields, along with persecutions. But in the world to come they will receive eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.” (GW)
OBSERVATION: Am I willing to lay down everything to follow Christ? This was the question that was posed to the rich young ruler. He had come to Jesus and asked what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus noted several of the commandments, and the rich young ruler noted that he had followed them from his youth. Then Jesus said something that made the rich young ruler turn away and leave in sorrow.
- “Jesus looked at him and loved him. He told him, “You’re still missing one thing. Sell everything you have. Give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then follow me!” (Mark 10:21 GW)
When the rich young ruler was walking away in the distance, the disciples were shocked. Here was an upstanding citizen that wanted to follow Jesus, and he left unwilling to lay down everything to follow Christ. Amazed the disciples asked – “Who then can be saved?” Jesus replied, “…It’s impossible for people ⌊to save themselves⌋, but it’s not impossible for God to save them. Everything is possible for God.” (Mark 10:27 GW). Then Jesus spoke the promise in Mark 10:29-31 to his disciples who had left everything to follow Jesus. God would not forget their sacrifice. God would abundantly bless them and reward them for their commitment.
I have found this to be true in my life. There has never been a time that the Lord has asked me to give something up for the Gospel’s sake, that He has not later turned around and blessed me abundantly for doing so. When I was 22 I was going to college to prepare for the ministry and was working at a grocery store as a journeyman clerk. At that time houses were selling for $24,000 for a three bedroom, two bath home in California! Yet, they were starting to go up in price rapidly. My coworkers told me that if I didn’t get a home soon I would never be able to afford one. My wife and I put a $500.00 down payment on a home and began a contract. That is when I heard the call to lay down everything.
The Lord spoke to both of our hearts. He had called me to go to school and prepare for the ministry. This would sidetrack us both, and the probability of me completing my education was low if we went ahead. There was a lot on the line, including our deposit. Yet, we both knew we had to give up the house. We did, even though we knew we might lose the deposit, and focused on finishing my education. It looked like we would never be able to get a house. Yet, a few years later, even though the price of homes had more than doubled, the Lord provided an open door for us to buy our first home. Not only did we get to buy this home, with the generous help of my parents, but we met young neighbors who have become dear and lifelong friends!
Four homes later, I sit reflecting upon the blessings of the Lord. I know that there will be new calls to sacrifice in the future as I continue to live my life for the Gospel’s sake. Yet, I have learned that in everything, He will provide and make a way. This is the blessing the rich young ruler never got to experience. It is the blessing so many never discover because they have not answered the call to give their first-fruits unto the Lord. I know that the rich young ruler would have been abundantly blessed if he would have followed Jesus’ call. The Lord always rewards those who obey His call!
Lord, thank You for the wonderful blessings You have poured out upon my life. Thank you for the grace to lay down that which You have asked for, in order to enter into that which You have destined for my life. Give me a sensitive heart to continue to hear Your voice, and to have the same readiness to obey Your call as I did when I was a young.
In Jesus Name!