Wednesday, September 8, 2010

When Loss is Gain

Mar 10:28  Peter began to say to him, "See, we have left everything and followed you." Mar 10:29  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 lands, for my sake and for the gospel, Mar 10:30  who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.
There are some things about Peter that we learn of in this text.  One is that he considers what he has given up for Christ impressive to the point that even Christ should be impressed.  Jesus’ answer also is interesting in that he teaches us that we are unable to deny ourselves anything for Christ that he will not make up for many times over.  Peter still hadn’t learned this lesson after the resurrection because John 21 he seems to indicated that it wouldn’t be fair for him to by martyred and not John also. 
It seems that the important thing to remember is that to have Christ is to have the greatest glory, joy and fulfillment that is possible.  Therefore to lose anything in this life cannot compare to what we have in Christ.  This isn’t to say that there isn’t real suffering and loss in this life; after all we are told to count the cost before we follow Christ.  It is just that physical loss can’t compare to what he supplies both now and in eternity.
My point to make here is that for our self-denial to be of the kind that pleases the Lord, we have to consider it as not loss but gain; we have to see this world as God sees it, futile.  If we suffer loss and yet think we have really done something for the Lord; that we have really given up much for him and so such loss causes us despair and discontentment, then we are bemoaning our loss more than we are rejoicing in what we gain in Christ.  Paul gladly suffered the loss of all things so that he could know Christ, Phil. 3:8.  If we can’t rejoice in our trials then are we not saying that we cannot be completely happy unless we have Christ plus something else?  Until we see loss as gain we don’t really glorify the Lord of glory.
2Co 8:9  For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.  Here is the truth.  However spiritual maturity can be defined, surely until you see yourself as rich no matter what loss you have suffered, you haven’t gotten there yet.

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