Monday, July 2, 2012

100 Times More

Missionaries visiting our church this weekend delivered a beautiful, blessed and heart-felt message where I was reminded of a verse that I haven’t visited for a long while.  The concept of the verse has been rumbling around in my heart for months, but I was directed to Matthew 19:29 on Sunday:  “And everyone who has left houses, brothers or sisters, father or mother, children, or fields because of my name will receive 100 times more and inherit eternal life.” (HCSB)

In other words, when we are obedient and follow His calling to the point of sacrificing what is dear to us, He promises to bless us by returning even more than what we’ve given.  I’ve seen this many times in my personal journey: with time, with things, with relationships, with financial matters, and so much more.  The Lord returns that which we lay at His feet and sacrifice to Him.  When we are willing to give it up, He is willing to give it back, in an even better form.    

Let me give you some recent examples:

·         When my schedule is tight and I don’t know how I’ll ever complete my “To Do” list, I still make a choice each morning to begin my day with Him.  I give Him my time and my focus.  Somehow, He returns the time that I dedicate to Him.  Sometimes I feel that He supernaturally blesses me when tasks fall into place easily, like this week when I had some special packages to ship for our church.  I did not have the correct sized envelopes and knew that it would require some shopping to get the task done.  When I arrived in my office on Friday morning, there was a large box of envelopes on my desk – the exact sized envelopes I needed, mind you - with a sticky note that said, “donation.”  I have no idea who brought them, but I smiled knowing that the Lord took care of my need and saved me the time (and money) it would take to shop.  
·         I’ve laid difficult relationships at His feet, too, surrendering them to Him to heal in His perfect timing.   While I wait, I’m often met with a renewed sense of rejection and heartache.  I had a difficult time with this just last month, but then my daughter and some in my beloved church family reached out and gave us the most genuinely loving gift.  At the end of a long weekend where I had to face a number of difficult emotions stemming from difficult relationships, we received an invitation to a dinner that –SURPRISE – was in our honor to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary.  The timing was all God’s.  The group told us they had been trying to schedule the party for many weeks, but the day that it finally worked out was the day it touched my heart the most.  God reminded me that He loves us with an everlasting love and gives us all that we need.  At the end of a weekend of renewed rejection, I basked in love that He poured out through His people.  I’m still glowing.

While we must guard our motivation for giving and use care that we don’t “give to get,” how have you seen the Lord return something to you “100 times more?”   I’d love to hear your story!  

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