April 25, 2012

What's in It for Me?

Matthew 19:27-30

Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?”
—Matthew 19:27


Following Jesus may be difficult when we face setbacks in life: perhaps the college of our choice has not chosen us, the economy has erased our job, or death has stolen away our spouse. We might begin to wonder, “Is it all worthwhile?”

As Jesus entered Jerusalem, he knew he would soon complete his God-given mission. While the disciples had been following Jesus for three years and had seen him perform exceptional miracles, their future was still a huge puzzle. When Jesus told a rich young man to sell all his possessions to gain eternal life, Peter couldn’t hold back from saying bluntly, “What do we get out of following you?”

Jesus’ response indicates a special place of honor for the disciples. He reminds us of some other fundamentals as well. In God’s economy it is always true that the one who shares the cross of Christ will also wear the crown. Our chief reward is not material possessions but a new fellowship with God’s people. Nothing can ever “separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39).

We must willingly abandon the trinkets of this world to discover the infinite treasure of knowing him. There will be a world of surprises as God, who alone judges our hearts, sets things right according to his justice and righteousness. Because of that, we will find that following Jesus is more than worthwhile!

Dear Lord, like the disciples, we sometimes struggle with following you. May your Word to us today encourage us to follow joyfully. Amen.

About the author — John Van Schepen

Dr. John Van Schepen is a retired pastor who served churches in Washington, Wisconsin, Indiana, Oregon and California. He and his wife, Willie, have been blessed with five children and several grandchildren.

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