My children’s desire for a move of God and my parents self-denial which just may prompt one.
“ Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Those who heard this asked, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus replied, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.”
Peter said to him, “We have left all we had to follow you!” “I tell you the truth,” Jesus said to them, “no-one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God 30 will fail to receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life.”
As opposed to the ruler who wouldn’t create the lack in his life for Jesus, Peter and the disciples had.
They had left all for Jesus and he knew it. He knew they had left their homes and their families for Him.
But He also knew that they would gain in this life, ‘in this age’, new homes of fellowship and new families filled with wonderful relationships.
As a child in the Salvation Army I remember a mission fund-raising term though I have only vague recollection of it. ‘Self-Denial week was held once a year and my parents having been Officers (minsters) for many years entered into this whole-heartedly. Throughout my life I have noticed self-denial being part of their life. Even after they left the Salvation Army and came into the Elim Pentecostal Church, self-denial followed them. They have given away practically everything they have ever bought to either the church, someone in need, a mission project or a neighbour next door.
There is a lot of talk on discipleship today. But I don’t hear a lot of talk of leaving things behind, of self-denial.
Last night I spent the evening talking with my children about the modern day ‘revivals’ that have happened but that how they occurred as the church people gave up many things, they surrendered their lives to host the presence of God but also they were willing to serve the crowds from around the world that came to their daily services. They weren’t in church for their own interest. They were not clock-watching, tithe-robbing, gossip-spreading, murmuring members of the church. They had left all. They had surrendered all. They had given all to Jesus. Maybe if we could see more of this in the nations churches then we would have more sovereign moves of God. Maybe.
But one more thing. Our eternal home and our life there seems to be impacted by our deposit in our life on this earth. Perhaps we should live more in the light of that fact than we do. What we give up now for the kingdom will be restored to us in our eternity. One day, surrounded by eternal riches (whatever they are) we might be able to say, “We have left all we had to follow Jesus!” It will be so worth it!!