These verses should be a great comfort to those of us who have made sacrifices to follow the Savior and do His will. Throughout the Gospels, Jesus warns us that those who want to be His disciples should be prepared to make sacrifices. In Luke 14:33 (NIV), He says, "Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be My disciple." Of course, most of us will not be asked to give up everything we have, but Jesus is referring to a certain mindset and attitude of the heart here. God wants us to be willing to surrender to Him all that He asks us to. And He wants us to know that discipleship can be costly. But serving God has its rewards, too. Look at the above verses again. Jesus says that no matter who or what we give up, we will receive a hundredfold return in this lifetime, as well as eternal life in the next. The Savior is assuring us here that we can't outgive God! And the more costly the sacrifice, the greater the reward.
The apostle Paul knew what it was like to make great sacrifices for God. He was a well-respected Pharisee when the Lord called him into service on the road to Damascus. He sacrificed his reputation, his family, his friends, and eventually his life, to follow Jesus. He endured endless persecution, as well as repeated beatings and imprisonments. Yet look at these verses he wrote in Philippians 3:7-8 (NIV): "But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ..." What is God asking you to give up today? A relationship that is not in His will for you? A job that is separating you from His greatest blessings? Some form of entertainment that is detrimental to your relationship with Him? Whatever it is, if you will surrender it to the Lord, He will reward you in unimaginable ways. After all—"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him"! (1 Corinthians 2:9 NIV)
Prayer: Lord, it is my heart's desire to be Your disciple and follow You. Give me the grace I need to wholeheartedly surrender to You all that I have and all that I am. Help me to make the sacrifices I need to so that nothing and no one will ever come between us. Thank You for rewarding me with abundant blessings and a closer relationship with You!
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