Surrendering to Christ can be costly. Graciously, Jesus promises blessings when we make sacrifices for the sake of following Him.
“Yes,” Jesus replied, “and I assure you that everyone who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or property, for my sake and for the Good News, will receive now in return a hundred times as many houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and property—along with persecution. And in the world to come that person will have eternal life.” (Mark 10:29-30)
What Does Surrendering to Christ Cost Us?
What have we given up surrendering to Jesus Christ?
Jesus Christ calls us to give up our rights to ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him. So what does that look like?
To give up our rights to ourselves means to put any of our own desires, priorities, responsibilities, or dreams at Jesus’ feet and proclaim that His will comes first for us.
To take up our cross means to identify our lives with Christ’s sufferings and hardships. Our path will be despised, ridiculed, and ignored by the world. Persecution should be expected.
To follow Him means to learn and obey His commands. It means to follow the example that Jesus Christ put out before us.
The rest of the story, as Paul Harvey used to say, is that Jesus will use our lives to produce fruit. We will have joy. Jesus Christ also promises to make our burdens light.
Surrendering to Christ Means Sacrifice
Sometimes as believers we are convicted about prioritizing a particular hobby or pastime, wondering if we are making it more important than Jesus Christ. We may reduce or even end the time we are investing in it. We might say to ourselves that we have just sacrificed for our faith in Christ.
That may be a good and right thing to do, but in this case, we are not talking about giving up a TV show or a sports team. In the passage we are looking at today, Jesus is talking about giving up our rights to essentials in life.
Home. Family. Career.
A life of abandonment to Jesus Christ starts in our hearts, so when we hear “follow Me here”, we go without looking back.
When we have the attitude, “I am willing to go without comfort, be rejected, lose status and self-support for Your sake,” Jesus Christ promises blessings.
Think about this: Jesus Christ has every right to expect our obedience with no hope on our part for reward. Yet He loves us so much He rewards us anyway.
Surrendering to Christ Brings Eternal Blessings
When we read this passage, we may think Jesus is promising great material blessing.
He might be talking about that. However, the context for this passage is immediately following His conversation with a rich man who wanted to follow Jesus but couldn’t bring himself to give up his great wealth (Mark 10:17-27).
In the context of eternity, we see this passage differently. Followers of Jesus Christ are part of an eternal family of disciples with whom we share an eternal inheritance, the promise of eternal life.
Thankfully, we are not alone. We have brothers and sisters in Christ here with us on earth, commanded by Christ to care for and love each other.
Surrendering to Christ Brings Suffering
Jesus also reminds us that our inheritance includes suffering for His sake.
It is an important caveat. Suffering can be confusing for a disciple of Jesus Christ if we only focus on the blessings from God. We may start thinking God is displeased with us.
In those times, it is good to remember we do not know what purposes are being carried out by what we endure. We may never know until we get to Heaven. What we can be assured of is Christ’s love for us. Jesus Christ went to the lengths of the cross because of His overwhelming love.
So how should we respond? God tells us something amazing: that we should treat persecution as blessing (James 1:2-3). When we endure suffering, it is a chance to reveal our surrender to Jesus Christ. Enduring suffering for our faith is one of the ways eternal blessings come our way.
Please understand; in saying this we are not being cavalier about persecution. However, when we have taken the time to abide with Christ, He can empower us to respond to suffering in a way that amazes the world, and perhaps even ourselves. And through our response, draw more people to Jesus Christ.
Here are some additional Bible verses about surrendering to Christ:
Psalm 37:25; Luke 19:1-10; Romans 12:1; Galatians 6:9; Hebrews 11:6; James 1:12; Revelation 22:12