And He raised His eyes toward His disciples and began saying, “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. Blessed are you when the people hate you, and when they exclude you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice on that day and jump for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven. For their fathers used to treat the prophets the same way. But woe to you who are rich, for you are receiving your comfort in full. Woe to you who are well-fed now, for you will be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep. Woe to you when all the people speak well of you; for their fathers used to treat the false prophets the same way. Luke 6:20-26 NASB
When I was 18, I responded to the message of the gospel (that Jesus had come, lived a sinless life, died a death He didn’t deserve, to pay the penalty for my sin, so that I could live a life empowered by God in obedience to His will and ways), I knew to some degree what it would cost me, but had little idea how much I would gain. When the first disciples were called by Jesus, He told them they would be ‘blessed’. Though poor (in spirit), they would have the kingdom of God. Though hungering and thirsting (for righteousness), they would be satisfied. On and on it goes. Many of the blessings of following Jesus are realized here and now… but greater blessings come in the next life. Whatever we give up in this life for His sake will pale in comparison to the exchanged glory in the next. “He is no fool, who gives up what he cannot keep, to gain that which he cannot lose” – missionary Jim Elliot. Jesus put it this way, “those who seek to save their life, will lose it; but he who loses his life for My sake, will gain it”.
How aware am I of the daily blessings that accompany any difficulty or cost of being a disciple? What does obedience to His calling on my life require today?
God, as this day begins- there are a few things to do. They will be a joy, because they are in service to Your precious people. Use me to uplift the downcast, support the less fortunate, and to walk in the Holy Spirit. Thank you for the manifold blessings that begin with the knowledge of repentance and salvation. In this life, really… only You satisfy!