MATTHEW 19:29-30: “And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life. But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.” NLT
OBSERVATION: Am I on the road to glory? Do I even understand what true glory is? If I took an honest evaluation of my life, where would I find my treasures – stored safely in heaven or only here on earth?
Everyone longs for glory. Adam and Eve were clothed in God’s glory when they were created. They forfeited it when they sinned. Since that time men and women have desired glory, yet many have been deceived by the enemy. They have looked for glory in all the wrong places.
Some look for glory in their 15 minutes of fame. Every child growing up dreams of being famous. When I was a young boy we had a swimming pool. As I swam each day I would pretend that I was an Olympic swimmer. When I finished my final lap, I would envision myself receiving the gold medal. Standing on the center podium, with the USA National Anthem playing, I stood there in my imaginary glory as everyone around me cheered.
Today, with the internet, Facebook, podcasts and blogs, everyone has a venue to achieve their 15 minutes of fame. Yet fame is fleeting and the glory of this world loses its brilliance, tarnishes, and eventually dies. All you have to do is ask yourself this question – “Whatever happened to the rock stars who were “One Hit Wonders”?
The setting for these verses from Matthew is Jesus’ encounter with the rich young ruler. This young man was successful, rich, and pious. Yet, he had one flaw, he loved his riches more than he loved God. He hungered for the glory of this world more than the glory of God’s Kingdom. When faced with the choice of giving everything to the poor and following Jesus, he turned away sorrowfully, because he loved his riches more.
The disciples were shocked. If this man could not be saved, then who could. Jesus answered with these words.
- “…Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.” Matthew 19:26 NLT
Then, Peter began thinking over his life and choices. Peter had chosen to follow Jesus. Peter had left his boat, vocation, and earthly possessions. Would he ever see God’s glory? Was it worth it to forsake everything to follow Jesus? Jesus answered,
- “And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life.”
Glory, God’s favor, goodness, and blessings, are always promised to the child of God. However, many times they are deferred. This does not mean that we do not receive blessings in this life. God is rich in mercy and blesses His children. In fact, we are blessed beyond measure. Yet, many times we are called to take a path that looks foolish to the world. In their eyes, it seems as if we are giving up the best opportunity and settling for a pathway that is mediocre at best. Jesus reassures His disciples that this is not the case.
- “But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.”
All my life I have chosen the path that has looked foolish to many. I always worked two jobs to fulfill the call of ministry in my life. I turned away from a career in broadcasting to broadcast a different message – the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I gave up a home to complete my seminary training. And, I have endeavored to put the Kingdom of God first.
I am not sharing this to give myself an “Atta-boy” pat on the back. The point is that as I look over all these sacrifices I find that I am richer for them than poorer. I will not die with the most toys. I have not amassed a fortune in this life. My name is not a household word. And, my picture was never on the cover or People magazine. Yet, I know that I have a treasure waiting for me in heaven. The glory that will be revealed and that is stored up in heaven for me is greater than anything I have been called to give up in this life.
The pathway of glory is for the humble in heart. The pathway of glory is for the one who seeks first the Kingdom of God, not his or her own personal kingdom. The pathway of glory is a life surrendered to Jesus Christ.
- “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted. God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth. God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied. God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy. God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God. God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God. God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.” Matthew 5:3-10 NLT
Lord, help me to choose Your pathway to glory. Help me to count the cost of discipleship. Grant me the grace to walk in Your light and love each day. Help me to seek first Your Kingdom in every step and decision of my life. Help me to seek the glory that is stored up for me in heaven!
In Jesus Name!