And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.
And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.
God’s ways are not our ways. Where we see loss, He sees an opportunity in which to bless us, He is not trying to steal good things from us. Rather, He is longing to bless us—and not just in heaven, but now, here on earth. Do we cling to that which is temporal and refuse to follow Him—thus robbing from ourselves the very blessings He wants to give us?
And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.
Faith is a big thing today. We are often exhorted to “have faith.” Have faith, and it will all turn out. Have faith and hope for the best. But what is the object of our faith? Faith in anyone or anything but God is misplaced faith. It’s not just about how strong our faith is, but about how powerful our God is. So, do we have faith…IN God?
“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31
We know these verses well, which sometimes lead us to quote or read them in a hurry. But have I stopped to truly ponder these words? “All” is all—every part, completely, wholly. Jesus describes more though: ALL our heart, soul, mind, strength. That should leave no part in me for self-love, self-exaltation, selfishness. Above that, our love is to go next in line to our neighbor (according to the Good Samaritan parable, “neighbor” means anyone who crosses our paths). This powerful, all-consuming love for God and others can be overwhelming—because I know my selfishness and shortcomings. But God has not given us the command without help: “but the fruit of the Spirit is love...” He is ready to help us love—but first, we need to realize how we lack love and how we need His help.
What attitude do we have when others violate God’s Word? Are we grieved because of the neglect of God’s Word, or does a fleshlier attitude take place?
What well-known verse has taken a new meaning for you lately?