THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2014
GIVING UP EVERYTHING
Today’s gospel: Mark 10:28-31
God calls us to give our all, just like Jesus gave his all
for us. When we do, we receive more than we give. God is never
outdone in generosity. Thus Peter said to Jesus, “We
have given up everything and followed you.” (v.28).
Jesus answered, “Amen, I say to you, there is no one
who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or
father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of
the gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in
this present age” (v.29-30a).
do we give up? We not only give up sin, but we give up the
very blessings God has been pouring out on us. We give up
those things that are important to and valuable for us. Everything
we have belongs to God, and we turn these over to Him. We
do not selfishly hold on to them. We detach from family and
from personal resources in order to serve Him fully.
it is not only a question of giving up things. Liberal western
billionaires also give up their wealth to philanthropies,
but to anti-life causes, to promote matters that are against
God. We give up things for the sake of Christ and for
the sake of the gospel. We give up things in order to
be able to more fully follow Jesus and serve his cause. We
allow nothing, no matter how important and precious to us,
to stand in the way, because the most precious to us is Jesus
and the propagation of the gospel.
do we receive in turn? We receive a hundred times more, not
only in heaven but right here and now--”houses and brothers
and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions,
and eternal life in the age to come.” (v.30b). Blessings
now, and blessings in the hereafter. Blessings on earth and
blessings in heaven.
of us in CFC-FFL who have done mission have reaped these blessings.
We leave our home, but all the homes of our brethren are open
to us. We leave our brethren where we are, but we meet and
relate with hundreds of other brethren, of every nationality
and culture. We leave our family behind, but we are treated
as family by many others. We leave our children behind, but
we encounter many more children of our brethren whom we consider
our own children as well. We leave our possessions, but are
very well cared for by others. We leave our land, but enter
into territories being won for our Lord Jesus Christ.
in between the earthly blessings and the eternal blessing
is wedged persecutions. Persecution is part and parcel of
a life of serving Jesus. When we do mission, we assault the
enemy. Thus we engage in spiritual war. We will be bruised
and bloodied. We will be oppressed. We will be persecuted.
There will be suffering and pain. But persecutions are
also part of the blessings! It means we are doing our
task well. It means we are effectively assaulting the enemy
and so we are being attacked. It is the privilege given to
us by God to suffer for the sake of Christ and his gospel.
It purifies us. It draws us deeper into a relationship with
God. It keeps us dependent upon God, fully trusting in Him.
It allows us to give God our all, even our very lives. It
helps makes us saints and martyrs
and true warriors. It is the awesome privilege
of participating, in our own small way, in the cross of Jesus
we give up everything to follow Jesus, it might seem that
we have lost everything, when in truth we have gained everything.
When we suffer and die for our faith, it would seem as if
we have lost our well-being and our precious lives, but in
truth we would just have entered into the fullness of life.
When we give of ourselves in humble service, it would seem
that we have taken the lowest place, but in truth we have
taken the higher and loftier path. Those who hold on lose
what they have, while those who let go gain it all. Indeed
“many that are first will be last, and the last will
be first.” (v.31).
us be willing to lose it all for the sake of Christ, being
regarded as the least and the last by a darkened world, but
then know that we will be first in entering eternal life in
the age to come.