"So they pulled their boats up on shore, left EVERYTHING and followed him" (Luke 5:11, NIV).
"But all those things that I might count as profit I now reckon as loss for Christ's sake. Not only those things; I reckon EVERYTHING as complete loss for the sake of what is so much more valuable, the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have thrown EVERYTHING away; I consider it all as mere garbage, so that I may gain Christ" (Philippians 3:7-8 GNB).
In spite of all their struggles, Simon Peter and his colleagues could not catch a single fish. But the words of Jesus Christ saved the day, "they caught such a large number of …" (Luke 5:6 NIV). This event changed their life goals. They left everything to become disciples of Jesus Christ! Also, Abraham left what he had to do the will of God (Genesis 22). In his old age, he was ready to give up his only son to God. In fact, the Bible says he did sacrifice the son (Hebrews 11:17). Undoubtedly, Isaac, the son, was everything to him and his wife. Paul was an accomplished scholar, yet he considered it invaluable so that he might experience Christ! All of them prized their faith above the temporal benefits.
Can one say that all of them were sensible? How could they abandon what they had toiled for - achievements, status, prestige and the like? Would they gain anything from such actions? In fact, once, Peter asked the same question: "What is our benefit?" (see Mark 10:28). Jesus Christ's answer was captivating: "I tell you the truth… no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields-and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life" (Mark 10:29-30 NIV).
Faith is not a gamble. It is giving of what you cannot keep into the hands of Him who keeps and multiplies all things for your own benefits, no matter how painful and unreasonable.
What is your "everything" that God asks you to leave for Him today? Probably God has just given you what He asks for. Are you ready to leave it? Think of the outcome of Abraham's faith. Every decision taken due to God's word is a road to life. You will get "everything" back if you leave them for God (see Hebrew 11:19). Everything!
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
This message was first sent out on November 9, 2003.