They Left All for Jesus
"Nothing for nothing." This proverb contains a deep truth. A thing that costs me nothing may nevertheless cost me much. It may bring me under an obligation to the giver and so cost me more than it is worth. I may have so much trouble in appropriating it and keeping it that I may pay much more for it than the price which should be asked for it. "Nothing is nothing."
This maxim holds good also in the life of the Kingdom of heaven. The parables of the pearl of great price and the treasure hid in a field teach us that, in order to obtain possession of the kingdom within us, we must sell all that we have. This is the renunciation that Jesus literally demanded of the disciples who had to follow Him. This is the requirement He so often repeated in His preaching: "Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot he my disciple" (Luke 14:33).
The two worlds between which we stand are in direct conflict with one another. The world we live in exercises such a mighty influence over us that it is often necessary for us to withdraw from it. Jesus trained His disciples to long for that which is heavenly. Only then could He prepare them to desire and receive the heavenly gift with an undivided heart.
The Lord has left us no outward directions as to how much of the world we are to abandon or in what manner. In His Word He teaches us that without sacrifice, without a deliberate separation from the world, we will never make much progress in grace. The spirit of this world has penetrated into us so deeply that we do not observe it. We share in its desire for comfort and enjoyment, for self-pleasing and self-exaltation, without our knowing how impossible these things make it for us to be filled with the Spirit.
Let us learn fro the early disciples that, to be filled from the heavenly world with the Spirit, we must be entirely separate from the children of this world or from worldly Christians. We must be willing to live as entirely different men and women, who literally represent heaven on earth, because we have receive the Spirit of the King of heaven.
(continued with # 13 - "Recognizing Your Enemies")