God Will Repay
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“Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life.”—Matthew 19:29
Sacrifice isn’t convenient. It never is. But God still calls us to it. How does Jesus influence us to sacrifice? What’s the appeal? How does He persuade us? The answer is clear: Reward. Real, eternal, abundant reward. …
This is the principle: When you sacrifice, for the sake of Jesus and the Gospel, you will be richly rewarded, and your reward will be real, eternal, and abundant. …
An error that our culture spreads is the idea that serving others is good because it makes us feel good. Our culture is largely secular, so people don’t commonly talk about serving God and receiving a real, eternal, abundant reward. Instead, they talk about how being a “good” person makes us feel good.
Sometimes Christians believe this error, and they lose perspective on why they are sacrificing and what they are sacrificing for. Inevitably, this leads to apathy, going through the motions, and eventually, burnout. … Jesus doesn’t offer some lame promise about feeling good about yourself when you do good things. He promises a real, eternal, abundant reward.
Our sacrifice—if it’s done to honor Jesus—is never wasted. God honors our faithfulness, and Jesus promises a real, eternal, abundant reward.—Ryan McCoskey1
If we could learn to look at people and situations the way God does and then act accordingly, how differently we would do things! Just about everyone has heard the biblical maxim, “It’s more blessed to give than to receive.”2 Most of us agree in principle, but it’s often a case of easier said than done.
What we need to remember is that God never expects us to do anything He knows we can’t without His help. He wouldn’t tell us to love unselfishly if He weren’t right there with us to help us do just that. This is where faith comes in. If we really believe what He tells us, we act on it—even if it’s contrary to our natural reasoning or the way the world around us operates. And when we do, we reap the innumerable and incomparable rewards God has reserved for those who love unselfishly.
It may not pay off immediately or in dollars and cents, but you won’t be sorry. Sooner or later God will more than make it up to you! Even the seeming sacrifices aren’t sacrifices. They’re investments that will someday pay big dividends.—Author unknown
“Peter began to say to Him, ‘Behold, we have left everything and followed You.’ 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 farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.’”—Mark 10:28–30
Whether or not the Lord chooses to return exactly what we have given up for His sake, Jesus promises to reward us “a hundred times”—an unimaginable profit.
What have you given up in order to obey the Lord? Don’t grow bitter if you have yet to see its payoff. Trust and take God at His Word; the reward will be far greater than anything you can imagine. Though you may not recognize the reward on this side of heaven, you will fully realize it with eternity’s perspective.
Is God asking you to let go of something or someone important in your life? Whether it is a career, living close to family, an important relationship, a means of income, a hobby, or a place of security, there is no need or desire sacrificed for which the Lord is not able to provide, perhaps in ways you have never thought of before.
Since the day I walked out the door of my dream college, following the Lord has required many more sacrifices. ... But every step of the way, God has blessed me beyond measure. I have never regretted my decision to walk away from my filmmaking ambitions in order to follow Jesus. I joyfully resonate with these words from the old hymn, “Jesus I My Cross Have Taken”:
Perish every fond ambition, all I’ve sought, or hoped, or known. But how rich is my condition! God and Heaven are still my own.
In the end, no matter what we have sacrificed for Jesus, the cost cannot surpass the benefits of what He has promised “in the age to come”3: eternity in His presence, where all of our needs and desires will be fully met in Christ.—Lauren Rushiti4
Choosing the recompense of the reward
Moses, who had as a babe been drawn from the bulrushes by Pharaoh’s daughter, was reared in her father’s palace. There was such wealth and every luxury. But when he came of age he had to come face to face with the king, who challenged him to make a choice. He was a Hebrew, not an Egyptian, and Pharaoh demanded that he declare himself now. Would he cast his lot with his alien mother and be true to Egypt and wear the crown of the pharaohs? Or would he choose his own people? What a crisis hour it was for this young man Moses!
If he chooses to be one of the Hebrew people, he must forget all the comfort and luxury he has always had, wear the hated garb of the slave, and renounce forever the only mother he’d ever known, Pharaoh’s daughter. But he chose, as God’s Word says, “rather to suffer affliction with the children of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.”5
These pleasures of sin spoken of here in the Bible were more tempting than appears by this mere statement, because Egypt at that time was the most attractive spot on earth. Her granaries were bursting with grain and the wealth of the world poured into her treasury.
From the possessions of the mightiest empire on earth Moses would have to take on slavery. But he was far-sighted and had this willingness to sacrifice for the future gain; “he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.”6 In other words, he knew that the pleasures of sin were only for a moment, and the future recompense of God’s reward was for all eternity.
He believed that without God’s favor, a millionaire is only a pauper. It was said of Christ, “though he was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor,”7 and this was the choice that Moses had to make, which entailed poverty and suffering and terrible humiliation. But he chose to be the least of God’s children without an earthly crown and wear a diadem forever in the life to come. So he took a stand with God’s children that he might stand with them before the eternal King over there.
Second Peter 1:9 speaks of a people who are blind and cannot see afar off. So many are like that today when they make their choices; they can see only the present. They sell out the future for the present. So many are blind spiritually to the great recompense of reward that God has! They have spiritual nearsightedness of the soul.
Standing with Moses on the steps of the palace, it looks like a foolish choice. But standing on the steps of the throne of God over there, as Moses looks back, what a wise, what a glorious choice it was! He became one of the world’s greatest leaders. He led a strange band of people on a long journey, and what a story it is! His name has gone down in history and his influence reaches to this very day.
“Myopia” is a Greek word that means nearsightedness. You can have spiritual myopia to where you’re not farsighted—you’re living mostly for the present and you don’t keep your heart and eyes on the great recompense of reward. The Lord says if we suffer with Him, we shall also reign with Him.8
Are there pleasures of any kind that are blinding you to that farsighted vision of the great recompense He has promised? The realities of eternity are pleasures forevermore. God who loves you has made great plans for you and for your life. Are you making your choice for the things that matter eternally?
Better to sacrifice now, dearly beloved, and then glory afterward. God loves you and God has planned so very much for you. Live in His Word. Trust Him to work it all out for your good and His glory.—Virginia Brandt Berg
Published on Anchor March 2022. Read by Gabriel Garcia Valdivieso.
Music by John Listen.
2 Acts 20:35.
3 Mark 10:30.
5 Hebrews 11:25.
6 Hebrews 11:26.
7 2 Corinthians 8:9.
8 2 Timothy 2:12.