Battles and (Multiple) Blessings
"Peter began to say to him, "'See, we have left everything and followed you.'" 29 Jesus said, "'Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, 30 who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.'" Mark 10:28-31
1. Ultimate allegiance belongs to Jesus alone (v. 29b)
2. Blessings/Rewards (vs 29-30)
“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” Hebrews 11:6
“For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Matthew 16:25
“The New Testament has lots to say about self-denial, but not about self-denial as an end in itself. We are told to deny ourselves and to take up our crosses in order that we may follow Christ; and nearly every description of what we shall ultimately find if we do so contains an appeal to desire. If there lurks in most modern minds the notion that to desire our own good and earnestly to hope for the enjoyment of it is a bad thing, I submit that this notion has crept in from Kand and the Stoics and is no part of the Christian faith. Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards praised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” CS Lewis, Weight of Glory, pp.1-2
3. Persecutions (Battles)
“Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.” 1 Peter 5:9
“Where is the saint who will dare to say in the face of these glorious promises that there is no encouragement to serve Christ? Where is the man or woman whose hands are beginning to hang down and whose knees are beginning to faint in the Christian race? Let all such ponder this passage and take fresh courage. The time is short. The end is sure. Heaviness may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. Let us wait patiently on the Lord.” JC Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels, p. 121
4. Be eternal life [Surprises] (vs. 30b-31)
1. Pray for courage to speak the name of the Lord in our culture especially as we remember 1 Peter 4:13 “But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.”
2. We should open our homes and hearts to our brother and sisters as we build on our understanding of being in the family of God.
3. “Count it all joy!”
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4
4. Rejoice. Glory in the hope of heaven - knowing the best is yet to be.
We should think often [at least daily] on the joys that await us in eternal glory.
“To come to Thee is to come home from exile, to come to land out of the raging storm, to come to rest after long labor, to come to the goal of my desires and the summit of my wishes.” Charles Spurgeon
A Mighty Fortress is Our God
“Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.”