Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – September 25, 2020
Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. Luke 9:23
“There is only one thing which is generally safe from plagiarism—self-denial.”
Years ago, I felt God’s nudge to relocate my family to a new city, one far from where Rita’s family lived. I was excited about the opportunity to attend graduate school, but the move was pretty hard for Rita. She grieved about being so far from the family that was so important to her. Growing up, my family never stayed in one place too long, so the thought of the transition was no big deal for me. I was a little like Abraham, who was ready to go wherever God called. Rita had more of a struggle with the change, but she was on board. She was willing to give up the proximity to her family so that we could pursue a different ministry path.
But, to be honest, once the initial excitement of making the move began to fade, I started to worry a little. In fact, I found myself weeping with uncertainty. In a moment where I was crying out to God (literally crying!), He led me to Acts 18:9-11, a passage that somewhat paralleled my own situation:
“One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision, “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city. So Paul stayed in Corinth for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God.”
This was just the encouragement I needed. I didn’t have to feel fearful or alone but knew God had led us to this season of trust, service, and education. And Rita and I grew even closer together through this challenging time. Looking back, it was an important time of preparation for the years to come, and our sacrifice eventually opened many doors for ministry. Every sacrifice for Jesus Christ will be ultimately redeemed.
God takes nothing from us without providing, in time, a multiplied restoration in a new and glorious form. Seen from this perspective, my challenges take on a different meaning. I know that in the long run, He will rescue, restore, and redeem me. Everything I have lost translates to something new I will find.
Such a conviction is why Corrie ten Boom, the beloved author and speaker, was able to survive the horrors of a concentration camp. Her time in that horrifying place is what taught her the limited worth of earthly treasures, and the value of the joy that is eternal. Corrie stood at the very door of death, and when she did, heaven’s priorities became illuminated.
We gain a life-changing interior freedom when we realize that no earthly thing will ever be able to destroy us. Nothing can ruin us. No disappointment will keep us down. Nothing that we give up for Jesus will be lost. Wisdom invests its life in things that have an eternal reward.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19-20).
Heavenly Father, remind me of your call to die, so I might live, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
What situation do I need to remain faithful to and trust the Lord’s love to lead me?
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Nothing that we give up for Jesus will be lost. Wisdom invests its life in things that have an eternal reward. #die #WisdomHunters #truth #Jesus
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