The demands of discipleship do not come without the reassuring promises of Jesus.  Yes, we are called to do that which is so difficult for us in our pride and sinfulness: deny ourselves and whole-heartedly surrender our lives to Jesus in repentance and faith.  But, surrendering to Jesus and giving up our “rights” should not be viewed as a burden.  Even taking up our cross to follow Him should not be considered an insurmountable sacrifice to consider.  Why?  Because the reward of following Jesus is a greater treasure than we can even begin to fathom.  Yes, Jesus told the rich young ruler to sell all he had (which was a lot of stuff – he had great possessions); but, before He said “come, follow me” he reassured this man that obeying the call to be a follower of Jesus had a great ending… “you will have treasure in heaven.” This was the answer to the great question that started the whole conversation, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” But, this man missed the answer he was hearing because it was not the answer he was seeking.  He wanted his riches here and he wanted eternal life.  But, that is not how it works.  You follow Jesus for the sake of HIS kingdom alone and whatever the sacrifice you are called to here, He promises the treasure of eternity in heaven which will make your sacrifice here pale in comparison.

That does not mean He will not take care of you here though.    Note Christ’s answer to Peter in verses 29-30.  When you leave all to follow Jesus, when you give up everything for His sake and for the gospel, not only will you receive eternal life in the age to come but He promises to take care of you now in this time as well.  All that is lost in the way of the world by forsaking it to follow Jesus will be regained a hundredfold in the new society created by the dynamic of the gospel.  We see this blessing in so many ways in the context of the church – the eternal family of God brought together by the gospel as followers of Jesus.  The bottom line that Jesus reassures us with is that certainly what is gained will far outweigh what is lost.

What promises of Scripture are reassuring to you as you seek to stand firm in the gospel as a follower of Jesus, awaiting the day that He will come again to receive us to Himself?

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