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September 23, 2009

Is This Love? (Pt. 3)

A quick review of the past two weeks:

  • 9/9/2009 – Mark 10:17-22 – Jesus teaches a very different love than most people practice today
  • 9/16/2009 – Mark 10:23-27 – We can’t earn our way into heaven – it is free to those who love Jesus

Now we find Peter asking for assurance that he and his fellow disciples “qualified”. “We have left everything to follow you!”, he pleads. (Mark 10:28).

Jesus assures him that if they’ve left all these things for Jesus and His gospel (Mark 10:29), they’ll receive back 100 times what they left – but there is also a good news/bad news scenario:

  • The bad news is that they’ll experience persecutions along with all they gain
  • The good news is that in the age to come they’ll receive eternal life (Mark 10:30)

Can you take the bad with the good? Why? The reasons are more important than the question:

If you love God – love Christ – persecution and eternal life won’t matter – you love Him no matter what.

If you simply want to “get” eternal life, you’ll not endure – you’ll be like the man in part 1 (Mark 10:22).

Probably the most touching example of this love is from a sermon Dr. Russell H. Conwell preached on Easter some 100 years ago. It’s too long to post here, but you can read it at www.conwellsermons.com. In this wonderful, touching sermon, Conwell recounts his suffering at losing an election to his state’s legislature over his stand on an important Christian principle of his time – temperance. His grief reflects the persecution Jesus warns of, and the greater blessing Conwell received in his loving and supportive family. Read this sermon from start to finish and think about Christ’s love in that time of confusion and fear among the disciples – especially Peter and Cleopas on the road to Emmaus.