Mark 10:28-31 (New Century Version)
28 Peter said to Jesus, "Look, we have left everything and followed you."
29 Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, all those who have left houses, brothers, sisters, mother, father, children, or farms for me and for the Good News 30 will get more than they left. Here in this world they will have a hundred times more homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and fields. And with those things, they will also suffer for their belief. But in the age that is coming they will have life forever. 31 Many who are first now will be last in the future. And many who are last now will be first in the future."
You may be wondering whether or not it is all worth. Is living for Jesus Christ in this world, going through the hassle and trouble really worth it? You might think that going back to living in the world is a whole lot easier and more fun. Or you might think that the sacrifice is too hard, and you wonder what really is on the other side? If we compare the Christian life here in the United States, what we have to give up is really nothing at all. Then why does it become so diffcult for us to be "sold out" for Jesus?
I came across a good example of the sacrificial Christain life when I was in Dilliard's this evening. I ran into a young man, Claudio, who had been on the job for just a couple of weeks. He was smiling and had a friendly and engaging attitude. As we made small talk, he told me that he appreciated working in the air conditioning, because his last jobs have always been outside. He told me that he was from Brazil. and he was in this country going to school at Dallas Baptist University studying finance.
He went on to tell me his story of how he met his missionary wife in Brazil as they minstered to children together. They had spent all of their savings to come here to further study in areas that would help their ministry. He also told me how God had been faithful and helped them make it through the last three years on around $450 a month. He didn't exactly know how, but their plans were to go back home and set up ministries to serve the poor and destitute street children in the slums of Brazil.
What encouraged me was how joyful this young man was to be here, to have a job around people, to work inside, and to have the opportunity to continue his studies. He felt that he was extremely blessed, and he wanted to take the blessings that he had received and use them for the poor children back home. Although his future was very uncertain, he and his young wife with him had committed themselves to following the leading of God and serve others.
Jesus makes a promise above that whatever we sacrifice in service to him, he will more than make up. Even though we would go through persecution in our efforts, he will make sure than we are blessed in the process. So if you are asking yourself the question of whether or not it is worth it, remember Claudio's example: a joyful young man, with his young wife, in a foreign country, living out lives trusting God in service to Jesus Christ in a hurting world. Take heart Christian, our Lord and Savior will repay more than we can ever give to him.
Oh, by the way, if you find yourself in Dilliard's in Northeast Mall, find Claudio and buy something from him.