If you have read through some of the posts on this blog about my personal struggles with darkness, sin and transgressions in my life; you are most likely aware that God tends to magnify His Word into my living as I continue in an effort to live in constant communication and fellowship with God. I call it my life in perpetual prayer. Oswald Chambers called it living my utmost for God’s highest, Brother Lawrence deemed it the practice of the presence of God .
Over the past several days my focus continues to be shifted to Mark 8:35; knowing that there are no coincidences in Christ I have studied and read this and then in His presence allowed God to teach me why I am here at this scripture. I will share as it was given to me and I pray that you will be blessed.
We have all been told or read in the scriptures: “Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams” 1 Samuel 15:22. Over the past 2 months God has put before me to do several things that I did not understand the deeper purpose and even one of the task he put before me had me so perplexed I did not go and do it immediately. I prayed about all of these but there was no answer or reason; so I went about doing the task. The only hope I held in doing these things was that I knew that God was with me and I was confident that nothing awful would befall me. My faith in God was intact.
The first few orders of business were to contact 3 people that I’d not spoken to in several years. I did that not knowing why it was a spiritually pressing matter but as we are taught; obedience must take presidence. When I made the calls I learned that 2 of the people I’d contacted were praying for me and one of them was trying to contact me; while another was hoping that I would make contact with them. Relationships that I’d lost were restored and renewed.
The most perplexing task that the Lord put before me was to ask for forgiveness from someone who I really felt should be asking me to forgive them. As I took what seemed to be a long journey to see this person and do as the Lord had put before me. I became afraid and wanted to turn back. I kept going and finally sat and began the conversation saying, “I came to ask you to forgive me.” I was met with a blank stare; but before they could speak, the words that needed to be spoken came pouring from within me. In that instant I knew how I had wronged that person and my ignorance in the matter turned to enlightenment.
Needless to say there have been so many blessings in my life since then. I obediently stepped out of my life’s comfort zones and gave up my ground. You are asking yourself… what does that have to do with Mark 8:25?
Since that moment God has shown me that though obedience is the priority; there is great a blessing to all who obediently sacrifice EVERYTHING that they are and all that they have to follow Christ. And as I stated in the last post it is not just a blessing to be received in the after-life but from RIGHT NOW to eternity. In the verse Mark 8:25. We know what this means as it speaks to the end of natural life and that is if you try to save your life by denying Christ then your eternal life will not be with Him and you will have lost your life. Therefore if you profess Christ even if it would cost your natural life; you will live eternally with Him and eternally are saved.
Yet God has shown me through giving up everything in life; family, friends, myself and even my material things held dear, I am in fact saving my life. Right Now. Every relationship in my life that was being lost, fading or that I was trying to save to perserve my quality of life… seemed to just deteriorate and I’d put a bandage on it. In giving them up this lifestyle freely to follow Christ, I am finding that they are all being restored, renewed and they have been saved. In my case it was to let go of the control and desire to fix everything that was broken in my life. Having let go of trying to save my not so stellar life and not allow anything or anyone to get in between me and Jesus (who is the very LOVE OF MY LIFE) allowed the blessing of putting those very things in His control and in effect He has saved these relationsips and the other smaller staples of life have been provided as well. There is no lack in regards to my daily needs. There are still areas that I am going forth by faith trusting Him as He leads to me to various things or relationships.
Point: Be willing to lose, surrender and abandon everything for His sake and the sake of the Gospel including your friends and family and you will have saved a life that you never dreamed you could live RIGHT NOW.
Yes,” Jesus replied, “and I assure you that everyone who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or property, for my sake and for the Good News, will receive now in return a hundred times as many houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and property–along with persecution. And in the world to come that person will have eternal life. Mark 10:29-30
Barnes’ Notes on the Bible
One hundred times as much. In this time – In this life. In the time that he forsakes all. This cannot be taken literally, as promising a hundred times as many “mothers, sisters,” etc. It means, evidently, that the loss shall be a hundred times “compensated” or made up; or that, in the possession of faith, we have a hundred times the “value” of all we forsake. This consists in the pardon of sin, in the favor of God, in peace of conscience, in support in trials and in death, and in raising up “friends” in the place of those who are left – “spiritual brethren, and sisters, and mothers,” etc.
“The favor of God” is the security for every blessing. Obedience secures industry, temperance, chastity, economy, prudence, health, and the confidence of the world – all indispensable to success in life, and all connected. commonly, with success. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. – 1 Timothy 4:8