“I was in Matthew’s gospel this morning in my journaling time,” Stan began, “and I saw another instance of the necessity of getting my self-focus out of the way.”
“Another instance of denying self?” I asked. “What did you see?”
“The apostle Peter,” Stan replied, “approached Jesus and asked Him, in effect, what he and the other disciples were going to get because they had left everything in order to follow Him. It was like Peter saying, ‘What’s in it for me and the rest of the guys?’”
Continuing, Stan said, “After Jesus responded and told Peter about the big assignment that awaited them to sit upon the thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel, Jesus then said something that I think has particular application to me.”
“What?” I asked.
“Jesus said that each person who gives up what he or she holds dear in order to be His will get much more than what has been given up.”
Continuing, Stan said, “And the ‘much more’ that Jesus talked about is not limited to my stepping into eternity when my time here is done. No, there is the ‘much more’ on this side of eternity of being allowed to draw ever closer to and knowing God the Father and Christ Jesus His Son on this side of eternity.”
“Rewards in eternity, and rewards here on this side,” Stan said. “Rewards that far outweigh anything I may hold dear apart from God. And that includes anything that might be in the way of my complete abandonment and surrender of me to Him.”
“Nothing here, absolutely nothing, is more important than what God has for me! Every single day Satan tries to convince me it is better to exalt myself and do what I want, rather than to deny myself and do what God wants.”
“I think it is okay for me to ask God, ‘What’s in it for me?’” Stan concluded, “if, and only if, I am asking, ‘What more have you got for me to know about You and Your Son?’ I am to continually seek the ‘much more’ that God has for me.”
And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or fathers or mothers or children or farms for My name’s sake, shall receive many times as much, and shall inherit everlasting life. Matthew 19:29.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for all you have for me, both for when I step into eternity and for the time I have remaining on this side of eternity. I confess that too often I want to hold onto what I think is important or valuable rather than giving up all for the sake of having you. Please forgive me. And please lead me in only wanting what you have for me, both here and there. Help me in giving up all that is in the way of what you have for me. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Things to think (and journal) about:
1. What is your biggest take-away from this devotional?
2. What does this devotional say about God and about us as His people?
3. What is God saying to you to do personally?
4. Who can you share this with to make a difference?
Comments, questions, suggestions, and the like can be addressed to The Storyteller at: firstname.lastname@example.org.