“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, 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. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.””
— Mark 10:29-31
As most of you know, a little less than a month ago, my family and I packed up our home and moved across country to attend Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, MO. To be honest, leaving was extremely hard. Packed inside that (broken down) Budget truck wasn’t just material belongings but life-long memories, deep-seeded friendships and everything that is comfortable and familiar. This verse has been brought me deep comfort in the difficult days before leaving and has especially brought me comfort after we have moved.
A week in, my wife and I were ready to jump ship and move back to the Land of Enchantment. We missed more than green chile—we missed friends and family, we missed familiarity and comfort. Jesus’ words came as a deep well that I would often run to in my mind. Because the fact of the matter is, we did exactly what this passage has said. We left family, house, lands for the sake of Jesus and His Gospel.
Listen to the reassuring words that Jesus gives to those who leave though, “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.” Jesus is not stingy with His blessings and promises for those who follow Him. He assures the sojourner, “Whatever you have left, a hundredfold will be given in this life and in the age to come, eternal life.” More importantly though, my hope is not found in what Jesus can bring rather Who brings the blessings and promises.
My prayer is that in this season of discomfort, pain and grieving, Jesus would reveal Himself a hundredfold in the Gospel. That as we feel the pains of isolation, unfamiliarity and discomfort, we would simply align ourselves with the Man of Sorrows who “emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men…” (Philippians 2:7). My prayer is that in this season, we would lean heavily upon this Man of Sorrows as a source of encouragement and rest in His bountiful promises to us.
Finally, how can I rest in Jesus’ promise and know that they are a guarantee? The person and work of Christ is the absolute guarantee that God will be faithful to His promises. This is what Paul says in 2 Corinthians 1:20, “For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.” We know that because of Christ and His work, we can trust God will not retract His promise. Therefore my soul, press ever deeply into the finished work of Christ as the real source of security and comfort.
“He is a sun ever-shining; He is manna always falling round the camp; He is a rock in the desert, ever sending out streams of life from His smitten side; the rain of His grace is always dropping; the river of His bounty is ever-flowing, and the well-spring of his love is constantly overflowing.” – Charles Spurgeon
This was wonderful. I’m reminded of the time Sharon and I left our ‘home’ to visit a foreign land of Las Cruces. Just imagine how many lives that would have never had such an amazing influence and impact on my own, had we never taken that step! We LOVE you guys and pray for the ongoing development of your wonderful gifts. God bless you and your family. Stay strong.
Thanks so much for the encouragement! We love and miss you guys a ton!