Matthew 19:29-30 “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name’s sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life.  But many who are first will be last; and the last, first.”

Observation: Jesus in this sweeping passage summed up what is required to enter into His eternal life. 

Application: Jesus calls me to turn to Him wholeheartedly, hanging on to nothing of the past—none of the old relationships and systems of self-identity. 

As one example of how to leave everything yet not forsake the very Law that Christ came to fulfill, consider the matter of finances. The Israelites were commanded to give not one tithe, but three. They further were commanded to tithe their capital every seventh year, and every forty-nine years they were to cancel all debts. The Pharisees were noted for their very public way of calculating their tithe, even carefully counting mustard seeds. There was in their heart none of the lavish joy the Lord wanted to see in them. They held no wonder in recognizing that all they had was a gift from God, a gift to hold loosely and give freely and eagerly.

Some today want to use Paul’s words that we are “no longer under the law” (Rom. 6:14) to live a life free from the disciplines required for us to be fully yoked to Christ. A yoke is a firm, inflexible thing, and my flesh resists it. Yet if I want to be fully His, then His yoke is required, but Jesus said His yoke is easy (Matt. 11:30).

Others may simply have not carefully considered the nature of the Word of God.  The Bible is one book not two. Jesus and His original disciples were Jewish to the core; the only writings they had were the Old Testament—what they called the Law and the Prophets. When Jesus quoted Scripture, it was the Old Testament. Paul and a few other disciples completed God’s book of guidance for His people through letters recording exploits of the early believers.

God repeatedly calls me to things that are hard, that go against my human nature. He says He came to fulfill the law and recognizes that apart from Him I will fall short.

Prayer: Lord, all I know to do is, like Paul, to “press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:14). Thank You for Your grace when I fail. Thank You for covering my sin and my shortcomings, and continually coaxing me to walk in more of Your fullness. Give me a generous heart, Lord, to daily become more like you by responding to Your grace and mercy.